Spatially varying properties of the vocal ligament contribute to its eigenfrequency response

J. E. Kelleher, K. Zhang, T. Siegmund, R. W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The vocal ligament is known to have nonlinear variation in geometry, yet this is rarely considered in empirical or computational studies. This paper investigates the effects of a nonlinear variation of the anterior-to-posterior geometry and the corresponding spatial variation in elastic modulus on the fundamental frequency of vibration for the vocal ligament. Uniaxial tensile tests were performed on a vocal ligament specimen dissected from an excised 60-year-old male larynx. Digital image correlation (DIC) was used to obtain the spatial deformation field for the entire ligament specimen. DIC results revealed that the tensile deformation was very heterogeneous, with the least amount of deformation occurring in the region of smallest cross-sectional area. The elastic modulus was calculated locally and was found to be approximately 10 times higher at the midpoint of the vocal ligament than in the anterior and posterior macula flavae regions. Based on the spatially varying material properties obtained, finite element models (isotropic and transversely isotropic) were created to investigate how the effects of varying cross-section, heterogeneous stiffness, and anisotropy could affect the fundamental frequency of vibration. It was found that the spatial cross-section variation and the spatially varying anisotropy (i.e. modulus ratio) are significant to predictions of the vibration characteristics. Fundamental frequencies predicted with a finite element model are discussed in view of rotatory inertia and contribution of transverse shear deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-609
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Elastic modulus
  • Finite element model
  • Fundamental frequency
  • Transverse isotropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatially varying properties of the vocal ligament contribute to its eigenfrequency response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this