Endolymph

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Also known as Scarpa's fluid, the endolymph is the extracellular fluid enclosed within the cochlea and semicircular canals of the inner ear. Basically, the endolymph is composed of water, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, and some amino acids, which are positively charged. The function of the endolymph is to act as a medium for the transmission of vibrations that come from the stapes; the endolymph makes it possible for the acoustic vibrations to flow in waves within the scala vestibuli, scala tympani, and cochlear duct of the cochlea, stimulating the hair cells inside the cochlear duct; it also acts as an elecrical gradient, allowing potassium ions to run into the negatively-charged hair cells.