Biomechanical effects of hydration in vocal fold tissues

Roger W. Chan, Niro Tayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: If has often been hypothesized, with little empirical support, that vocal fold hydration affects voice production by mediating changes in vocal fold tissue rheology. To test this hypothesis, we attempted in this study to quantify the effects of hydration on the viscoelastic shear properties of vocal fold tissues in vitro. STUDY DESIGN: Osmotic changes in hydration (dehydration and rehydration) of 5 excised canine larynges were induced by sequential incubation of the tissues in isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic solutions. Elastic shear modulus (G′), dynamic viscosity η′ and the damping ratio ζ of the vocal fold mucosa (lamina propria) were measured as a function of frequency (0.01 to 15 Hz) with a torsional rheometer. RESULTS: Vocal fold tissue stiffness (G′) and viscosity (η) increased significantly (by 4 to 7 times) with the osmotically induced dehydration, whereas they decreased by 22% to 38% on the induced rehydration. Damping ratio (ζ) also increased with dehydration and decreased with rehydration, but the detected differences were not statistically significant at all frequencies. CONCLUSION: These findings support the long-standing hypothesis that hydration affects vocal fold vibration by altering tissue rheologic (or viscoelastic) properties. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrated the biomechanical importance of hydration in vocal fold tissues and suggested that hydration approaches may potentially improve the biomechanics of phonation in vocal fold lesions involving disordered fluid balance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-537
Number of pages10
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume126
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2002

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Vocal Cords
Fluid Therapy
Dehydration
Viscosity
Mucous Membrane
Hypotonic Solutions
Hypertonic Solutions
Isotonic Solutions
Phonation
Water-Electrolyte Balance
Rheology
Elastic Modulus
Larynx
Vibration
Biomechanical Phenomena
Canidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Biomechanical effects of hydration in vocal fold tissues. / Chan, Roger W.; Tayama, Niro.

In: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Vol. 126, No. 5, 05.2002, p. 528-537.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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