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Fluid-structure-acoustic interactions in an ex vivo porcine phonation model.


In the clinic, many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures focus on the oscillation patterns of the vocal folds (VF). Dynamic characteristics of the VFs, such as symmetry, periodicity, and full glottal closure, are considered essential features for healthy phonation. However, the relevance of these individual factors in the complex interaction between the airflow, laryngeal structures, and the resulting acoustics has not yet been quantified. Sustained phonation was induced in nine excised porcine larynges without vocal tract (supraglottal structures had been removed above the ventricular folds). The multimodal setup was designed to simultaneously control and monitor key aspects of phonation in the three essential parts of the larynx. More specifically, measurements will comprise (1) the subglottal pressure signal, (2) high-speed recordings in the glottal plane, and (3) the acoustic signal in the supraglottal region. The automated setup regulates glottal airflow, asymmetric arytenoid adduction, and the pre-phonatory glottal gap. Statistical analysis revealed a beneficial influence of VF periodicity and glottal closure on the signal quality of the subglottal pressure and the supraglottal acoustics, whereas VF symmetry only had a negligible influence. Strong correlations were found between the subglottal and supraglottal signal quality, with significant improvement of the acoustic quality for high levels of periodicity and glottal closure.

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