Divisions >> Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery >> Otolaryngology Surgery Update e-newsletter >> May 2016 >> Research Spotlight
Biomechanical Modeling in the Evaluation and Treatment of Voice Pathology
By Michelle Ciucci, PhD and Bill Calawerts
Professor Jack Jiang, MD, PhD, is a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the use of engineering, supervised machine learning, excised laryngeal models, and clinical investigation of acoustic features of voice disorders to improve our understanding of normal and abnormal voice production. His laryngeal physiology lab uses biomechanical models to assess vocal fold vibration under normal and abnormal conditions.
Dr. Jiang’s research is funded through two major awards from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The first award, “Chaos in human phonation and its measurement,” focuses on the aperiodic nature of many voice disorders. Clinical voice measurement and classification techniques typically use periodic signals and are therefore unable to classify and quantify the pathology in many voice disorders. A recent publication introduced a novel, objective measure called “the rate of divergence,” which is capable of analyzing all voice signal types, including aperiodic signals. This work allows for examination of the complex biomechanical interactions that produce voice pathologies. Dr. Jiang’s work in this area aims to apply nonlinear analysis methods to quantify and classify these voice signals.
The second award, “Aerodynamic Study for Laryngeal Function Assessment Using Airflow Interruption Methods,” began in August of 2012. This research validates aerodynamic measurement devices that were designed in Dr. Jiang’s laboratory. These noninvasive devices provide insight into the function and status of the larynx and can be used to evaluate and compare treatment conditions for common voice disorders. Another recent publication introduced a novel device that allows for the accurate measurement of airflow during connected speech. This advancement provides a more natural communication environment to evaluate laryngeal function and could potentially aid in singing training.
We are thankful for Dr. Jiang and his research team for their meaningful contributions to our research mission. This work has widespread translational clinical applications for evaluation and treatment of voice disorders.
Calawerts W, Lin L, Sprott JC, Jiang JJ. “Using Rate of Divergence as an Objective Measure to Differentiate Between Voice Signal Types Based on the Amount of Disorder in the Signal.” Journal of Voice. 2016 Feb 23.