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Authors Goodyer E, Gunderson M, Dailey SH
Journal J Voice Volume: 24 Issue: 3 Pages: 359-62
Publish Date 2010 May
PubMed ID 19303741
PMC ID 2893545

During phonation, energy is transferred from the subglottal airflow through the air/mucosa interface that results in the propagation of the mucosal wave in the vocal fold. The vocal fold is soft, and the subglottal mucosa is stiff. We hypothesize that it is highly improbable that there is a rigid boundary between the tissue structures, with a sudden drop in stiffness; and that a gradual change would be more likely to support the efficient transfer of energy from the airflow to the mucosal wave. Our objective was to test this hypothesis by quantifying the change in mucosa stiffness with respect to anatomical position. In this initial study, using five pig larynges, a series of point-specific measurements of mucosa stiffness were taken in a line from the midpoint of the vocal fold toward the trachea. A modified linear skin rheometer adapted for laryngeal elasticity measurement applied shear stress to a series of seven positions at 2-mm intervals starting from the midmembranous vocal fold medial surface. A sinusoidal shear force of 1g was applied at each point, and resultant displacement curve logged. Using a regression algorithm, the stiffness of the tissue was derived in units of grams force per millimeter displacement. Five readings were taken at each position. The results indicate that there is a linear increase in stiffness with respect to position, increasing as the measurements are taken further from the vocal fold. There is a gradual change in stiffness of the subglottal mucosa of a pig larynx.

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