Jeffrey T. Cheng, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear


Research Summary

Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Cheng’s primary research interest is tympanic membrane physiology and function. His laboratory is using newly developed laser holography techniques to measure the shape and sound induced 3-dimensional motion of the entire surface of the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in both magnitude and phase in a number of mammalian species. This study can address basic science questions, such as “How does the tympanic membrane interact with forward sound waves traveling down the ear-canal over a broad auditory frequency range (20 Hz ~ 20 kHz for human)? What role does the tympanic membrane play in receiving and transmitting acoustic energy into the middle-ear ossicles and cochlea in normal hearing?” To further our understanding on the working mechanism of the tympanic membrane, Dr. Cheng also investigates how the tympanic membrane reacts to the reverse mechanical stimulation of the ossicles produced by, for example, an active middle-ear implant. Dr. Cheng’s research also has clinical impact. A detailed analysis of tympanic membrane surface motion by holography on pathological ears could benefit diagnoses of middle-ear diseases and help plan for preoperative treatment as well as post-treatment evaluation.

Dr. Cheng also collaborates with optical experts at Massachusetts General Hospital and Physical Science Inc., Andover to develop an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) based middle-ear diagnostic device that can non-invasively detect and measure morphological information and dynamic vibration of middle-ear structures in normal and pathological ears through the intact eardrum.

Select Publications

Middle ear mechanics of cartilage tympanoplasty evaluated by laser holography and vibrometry. Aarnisalo AA, Cheng JT, Ravicz ME, Hulli N, Harrington EJ, Hernández-Montes MdS, Furlong C, Merchant SN and Rosowski JJ. Otol Neurotol. 2009 Dec; 30(8):1209-14.

Motion of the surface of the human tympanic membrane measured with stroboscopic holography. Cheng JT, Aarnisalo AA, Harrington E, Hernandez-Montes MdS, Furlong C, Merchant SN, Rosowski JJ. Hear. Res. 2010; 263:66-77.

New data on the motion of the normal and reconstructed tympanic membrane.
Rosowski JJ, Cheng JT, Merchant S, Harrington E, Furlong C. Otol Neurotol. 2011; 32:1559-67.

Wave Motion on the Surface of the Human Tympanic Membrane: Holographic Measurement and Modeling Analysis. Cheng JT, Hamade M, Harrington E, Furlong C, Merchant SN, Rosowski JJ. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 2013; 133(2):918-37.

Simultaneous 3D imaging of sound-induced motions of the tympanic membrane and middle ear ossicles.
Chang EW, Cheng JT, Rööslic C, Kobler JB, Rosowski JJ, Yun SH. Hear. Res. 2013. In Press.

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Ph.D. Bioengineering, University of Oklahoma

Postgraduate Training

Research Fellowship: Middle Ear Mechanics, Eaton-Peabody Laboratories, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary