The mouse cochlea database (MCD) provides an interactive, image database of the mouse cochlea for learning its anatomy and data mining of its resources. The MCD website is hosted on a centrally maintained, high-speed server at the following URL: http://mousecochlea.umn.edu. The MCD contains two types of image resources, serial 2D image stacks and 3D reconstructions of cochlear structures. Complete image stacks of the cochlea from two different mouse strains were obtained using orthogonal plane fluorescence optical microscopy (OPFOS). 2D images of the cochlea are presented on the MCD website as: viewable images within a stack, 2D atlas of the cochlea, orthogonal sections, and direct volume renderings combined with isosurface reconstructions. In order to assess cochlear structures quantitatively, "true" cross-sections of the scala media along the length of the basilar membrane were generated by virtual resectioning of a cochlea orthogonal to a cochlear structure, such as the centroid of the basilar membrane or the scala media. 3D images are presented on the MCD website as: direct volume renderings, movies, interactive QuickTime VRs, flythrough, and isosurface 3D reconstructions of different cochlear structures. 3D computer models can also be used for solid model fabrication by rapid prototyping and models from different cochleas can be combined to produce an average 3D model. The MCD is the first comprehensive image resource on the mouse cochlea and is a new paradigm for understanding the anatomy of the cochlea, and establishing morphometric parameters of cochlear structures in normal and mutant mice.
- 3D reconstruction