Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:21:58


Mechanical Engineering

Honors Course

MECE 461 and MECE 497

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


The ventilation of the middle ear, crucial for maintaining optimal ear health, is often impeded by factors such as swelling, inflammation, and mucus in the eustachian tubes, particularly during upper respiratory infections or allergies. This issue, prevalent in children due to their narrow and horizontal eustachian tubes, prompts the insertion of tympanostomy tubes by ENT surgeons to establish an alternative airway for pressure equalization and fluid drainage. Despite the common belief in the effectiveness of these tubes, there is a notable dearth of research validating their optimal functionality. This study aims to address this gap by systematically comparing the efficiency of various ear tubes available in the market, considering metrics such as material, length, diameter, and additional features. The experimental approach involves using a video camera to observe the inflow and outflow of liquid droplets introduced into the ear tubes under diverse conditions. Post-processing of the gathered data will inform insights into potential enhancements for optimal ear tube design. Subsequent to data evaluation, new ear tube designs will be developed using Computer-Aided Design (CAD), 3D printed, and subjected to rigorous testing and validation. The ultimate objective is to create an improved ear tube design that not only facilitates efficient drainage but also ensures a high success rate of eardrop inflow, contributing to advancements in ear health interventions.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Ajay Mahajan

First Reader

Motaz Hassan

Second Reader

Shahba Tasmiya Mouna

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Scott Sawyer

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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