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Human Laryngeal Mucus from the Vocal Folds: Rheological Characterization by Particle Tracking Microrheology and Oscillatory Shear Rheology.

  • Author(s): Peters, Gregor
  • Wendler, Olaf
  • Böhringer, David
  • Gostian, Antoniu-Oreste
  • Müller, Sarina K
  • Canziani, Herbert
  • Hesse, Nicolas
  • Semmler, Marion
  • Berry, David A
  • Kniesburges, Stefan
  • Peukert, Wolfgang
  • Döllinger, Michael
  • et al.

Mucus consistency affects voice physiology and is connected to voice disorders. Nevertheless, the rheological characteristics of human laryngeal mucus from the vocal folds remain unknown. Knowledge about mucus viscoelasticity enables fabrication of artificial mucus with natural properties, more realistic ex-vivo experiments and promotes a better understanding and improved treatment of dysphonia with regard to mucus consistency. We studied human laryngeal mucus samples from the vocal folds with two complementary approaches: 19 samples were successfully applied to particle tracking microrheology (PTM) and five additional samples to oscillatory shear rheology (OSR). Mucus was collected by experienced laryngologists from patients together with demographic data. The analysis of the viscoelasticity revealed diversity among the investigated mucus samples according to their rigidity (absolute G' and G″). Moreover some samples revealed throughout solid-like character (G' > G″), whereas some underwent a change from solid-like to liquid-like (G' < G″). This led to a subdivision into three groups. We assume that the reason for the differences is a variation in the hydration level of the mucus, which affects the mucin concentration and network formation factors of the mucin mesh. The demographic data could not be correlated to the differences, except for the smoking behavior. Mucus of predominant liquid-like character was associated with current smokers.

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