Current Understanding and Future Directions for Vocal Fold Mechanobiology.
ABSTRACT The vocal folds, which are located in the larynx, are the main organ of voice production for human communication. The vocal folds are under continuous biomechanical stress similar to other mechanically active organs, such as the heart, lungs, tendons and muscles. During speech and singing, the vocal folds oscillate at frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 3 kHz with amplitudes of a few millimeters. The biomechanical stress associated with accumulated phonation is believed to alter vocal fold cell activity and tissue structure in many ways. Excessive phonatory stress can damage tissue structure and induce a cell-mediated inflammatory response, resulting in a pathological vocal fold lesion. On the other hand, phonatory stress is one major factor in the maturation of the vocal folds into a specialized tri-layer structure. One specific form of vocal fold oscillation, which involves low impact and large amplitude excursion, is prescribed therapeutically for patients with mild vocal fold injuries. Although biomechanical forces affect vocal fold physiology and pathology, there is little understanding of how mechanical forces regulate these processes at the cellular and molecular level. Research into vocal fold mechanobiology has burgeoned over the past several years. Vocal fold bioreactors are being developed in several laboratories to provide a biomimic environment that allows the systematic manipulation of physical and biological factors on the cells of interest in vitro. Computer models have been used to simulate the integrated response of cells and proteins as a function of phonation stress. The purpose of this paper is to review current research on the mechanobiology of the vocal folds as it relates to growth, pathogenesis and treatment as well as to propose specific research directions that will advance our understanding of this subject.
SourceAvailable from: Amir K. Miri[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t The elastic properties of the vocal folds (VFs) vary as a function of depth relative to the epithelial surface. The poroelastic anisotropic properties of porcine VFs, at various depths, were measured using atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based indentation. The minimum tip diameter to effectively capture the local properties was found to be 25 mm, based on nonlinear laser scanning microscopy data and image analysis. The effects of AFM tip dimensions and AFM cantilever stiffness were systematically investigated. The indenta-tion tests were performed along the sagittal and coronal planes for an evaluation of the VF anisotropy. Hertzian contact theory was used along with the governing equations of linear poroelasticity to calculate the diffusivity coefficient of the tissue from AFM indentation creep testing. The permeability coefficient of the porcine VF was found to be 1.80 7 0.32 Â 10 −15 m 4 /N s.Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 07/2013; XXX(XXX):XXX. DOI:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.05.026 · 3.05 Impact Factor