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Healthy and Damaged Ear Hair Cells

Scanning electron micrographs of the normal (a) and damaged (b) cochlear sensory epithelium. In the normal cochlea, the stereocilia of a single row of inner hair cells (IHCs) and three rows of outer hair cells (OHCs) are present in an orderly array. In the damaged cochlea, hair cells are missing, and stereocilia are abnormal, leading to hearing loss. 
http://www.pnas.org/content/97/13/6939/F1.expansion.html.

Damaged hair cells within the cochlea cannot deliver signals to the brain correctly.

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