• Ernst Reissner studied the formation of the inner ear initially using the embryos of fowls, then the embryos of mammals, mainly cows and pigs, and to a less extent the embryos of man. The embryos were placed in water for maceration and fixed in vinegar or black wax. Black wax also provided contrast and supportive blocks to enable the cutting of thin sections. Only the surface of the specimens could be studied after staining as they could not have been thin enough. By sectioning embryos at different stages, he was not only able to determine individual stages of the formation of the labyrinth and postulate its formation in man; but also to conclude that the web (the membrane) he noted in embryos is a permanent structure of the labyrinth in man.
(Arch Otolaryngol 105:434-435, 1979)