Elasticity of the human false vocal fold

Roger W. Chan, Min Fu, Neeraj Tirunagari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: Very little is known about the elasticity of the human ventricular fold (false vocal fold). To better understand the potential role of the false fold in the fluid dynamics and aeroacoustics of phonation, we made some measurements on the elastic properties of human ventricular fold tissues in vitro. Methods: Uniaxial tensile stress-strain characteristics of 6 male and 6 female false fold specimens were quantified with sinusoidal stretch-release deformation. Midcoronal sections of 3 specimens were examined to quantify the relative densities of collagen, elastin, seromucous glandular tissue, and adipose tissue by digital image analysis. Results: Nonlinear stress-strain curves with hysteresis (viscous energy loss) were observed, with large interindividual differences. A hybrid linear-exponential model was used to determine the elastic modulus (tangent Young's modulus) of the false fold. On average, the male false fold was twice as stiff as the female at a tensile strain of 20% to 30%. Conclusions: This preliminary gender-related difference in elasticity could be attributed to a higher proportion of glandular tissue in the female false fold, due to the lower elastic modulus of glands. The present data allow one to develop a more comprehensive biomechanical model of phonation, for optimizing postoperative voice production following laryngeal reconstruction procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-381
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Biomechanical modeling
  • Elastic modulus
  • Larynx
  • Ventricular fold
  • Vestibular fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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