Modeling Vocal Fold Intravascular Flow with Synthetic Replicas

Aaron David Terry, Brigham Young University


Communication by voice is foundational in our society and many rely on their voices for their occupations. Voice disorders affect a significant number of individuals each year, and diagnosis and treatment improvements are therefore sought via advancements in voice research. Contained in this thesis is a description of work intended to contribute to vocal fold research by using synthetic, self-oscillating vocal fold replicas to study the impact of replica vibration on perfusion fluid flow through the replica. Methods for manufacturing vocal fold replicas containing imbedded channels allowing for fluid perfusion are discussed. Experimental procedures developed for delivering perfusion fluid to the imbedded channel at a constant pressure during replica vibration are described. Methods for measuring perfusion parameters of perfusion fluid pressure, imbedded channel diameter, flow rate, and vibration parameters (subglottal pressure, frequency, amplitude, channel length, and glottal width) are detailed. Experiments performed using both stationary and vibrating vocal fold replicas are presented. Correlations between perfusion pressure and channel diameter are discussed. Vibration parameters were correlated to perfusion flow parameters and it is shown that perfusion flow rate through the channels decreased significantly with model vibration. Potential mechanisms for changes in perfusion flow resistance with vibration are discussed and analyzed. Output of a theoretical model, developed to incorporate some of the possible flow resistance mechanisms, was compared to vibrating replica experimental data.