Shear Traveling Waves of the Tectorial Membrane
When the TM is suspended in fluid, radial shear forces applied at one
location propagate longitudinally along the TM.
The image shows an enhanced view of this wave propagation, where the
motion of the TM has been exaggerated to make it visible.
From the amplitude and speed of wave propagation, we can derive material
properties of the TM such as its shear and loss moduli.
More important, these traveling waves are almost certainly present in
vivo, where they contribute significantly to the sensitivity and
frequency selectivity of the cochlea.