News & Events
March 14, 2017
A Comparative Study of Drug Delivery Methods Targeted to the Mouse Inner Ear: Bullostomy Versus Transtympanic Injection

Members of TARGEAR have published an article in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). Two microsurgery approaches for local drug delivery to the inner ear are described in the article and compared in terms of impact on hearing parameters, cochlear cytoarchitecture and expression of inflammatory markers.



We present two minimally invasive microsurgical techniques in rodents for specific drug delivery into the middle ear so that it may reach the inner ear. The first procedure consists of perforation of the tympanic bulla, termed bullostomy; the second one is a transtympanic injection. Both emulate human clinical intratympanic procedures.

Chitosan-glycerophosphate (CGP) and Ringer´s Lactate buffer (RL) were used as biocompatible vehicles for local drug delivery. CGP is a nontoxic biodegradable polymer widely used in pharmaceutical applications. It is a viscous liquid at RT but it congeals to a semi solid phase at body temperature. RL is an isotonic solution used for intravenous administrations in humans. A small volume of this vehicle is precisely placed on the Round Window (RW) niche by means of a bullostomy. A transtympanic injection fills the middle ear and allows less control but broader access to the inner ear.

The safety profiles of both techniques were studied and compared by using functional and morphological tests. Hearing was evaluated by registering the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) before and several times after microsurgery. The cytoarchitecture and preservation level of cochlear structures were studied by conventional histological techniques in paraformaldehyde-fixed and decalcified cochlear samples. In parallel, unfixed cochlear samples were taken and immediately frozen to analyze gene expression profiles of inflammatory markers by quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR).

Both procedures are suitable as drug delivery methods into the mouse middle ear, although transtympanic injection proved to be less invasive compared to bullostomy.