Blog Archives

Insights Into the Role of Elastin in Vocal Fold Health and Disease

Elastic fibers are large, complex, and surprisingly poorly understood extracellular matrix macromolecules. The elastin fiber, generated from a single human gene—elastin, is a self assembling integral protein that endows critical mechanical proprieties to elastic tissues and organs such as the skin, lungs, and arteries. The biology of elastic fibers is complex because they have multiple components, a tightly regulated developmental deposition, a multistep hierarchical assembly, and unique biomechanical functions. Elastin is present in vocal folds, where it plays a pivotal role in the quality of phonation. This review article provides an overview of the genesis of elastin and its wide-ranging structure and function. Specific distribution within the vocal fold lamina propria across the lifespan in normal and pathological states and its contribution to vocal fold biomechanics will be examined. Elastin and elastin-derived molecules are increasingly investigated for their application in tissue engineering. The properties of various elastin-based materials will be discussed and their current and future applications evaluated. A new level of understanding of the biomechanical properties of vocal fold elastin composites and their molecular basis should lead to new strategies for elastic fiber repair and regeneration in aging and disease.

from the Journal of Voice


The Role of the Cricothyroid Joint Anatomy in Cricothyroid Approximation Surgery

The anatomical structure of the CTJ influences directly (1) the position of the effective rotation axis and (2) the elongation of the vocal folds.

from the Journal of Voice

A Totally Implantable Hearing System – Design and Function Characterization in 3D Computational Model and Temporal Bones

Implantable middle ear hearing devices are emerging as an effective technology for patients with mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss. Several devices with electromagnetic or piezoelectric transducers have been investigated or developed in the US and Europe since 1990. This paper reports a totally implantable hearing system (TIHS) currently under investigation in Oklahoma. The TIHS consists of implant transducer (magnet), implantable coil and microphone, DSP-audio signal processor, rechargeable battery, and remote control unit. The design of TIHS is based on a 3D finite element model of the human ear and the analysis of electromagnetic coupling of the transducer. Function of the TIHS is characterized over the auditory frequency range in three aspects: (1) mass loading effect on residual hearing with a passive implant, (2) efficiency of electromagnetic coupling between the implanted coil and magnet, and (3) functional gain of whole unit in response to acoustic input across the human skin. This paper focuses on mass loading effect and the efficiency of electromagnetic coupling of TIHS determined from the FE model of the human ear and the cadaver ears or temporal bones. Some preliminary data of whole unit function are also presented in the paper.

from Hearing Research

Analysis of facial motion patterns during speech using a matrix factorization algorithm

This paper presents an analysis of facial motion during speech to identify linearly independent kinematic regions. The data consists of three-dimensional displacement records of a set of markers located on a subject’s face while producing speech. A QR factorization with column pivoting algorithm selects a subset of markers with independent motion patterns. The subset is used as a basis to fit the motion of the other facial markers, which determines facial regions of influence of each of the linearly independent markers. Those regions constitute kinematic “eigenregions” whose combined motion produces the total motion of the face. Facial animations may be generated by driving the independent markers with collected displacement records.

©2008 Acoustical Society of America

from the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America