3D-Printed Synthetic Vocal Fold Models

      Summary

      Objective

      Synthetic vocal fold (VF) models used for studying the physics of voice production are comprised of silicone and fabricated using traditional casting processes. The purpose of this study was to develop and demonstrate a new method of creating synthetic VF models through 3D printing in order to reduce model fabrication time, increase yield, and lay the foundation for future models with more life-like geometric, material, and vibratory properties.

      Study design

      Basic science.

      Methods

      A 3D printing technique based on embedding a UV-curable liquid silicone into a gel-like medium was selected and refined. Cubes were printed and subjected to tensile testing to characterize their material properties. Self-oscillating VF models were then printed, coated with a thin layer of silicone representing the epithelium, and used in phonation tests to gather onset pressure, frequency, and amplitude data.

      Results

      The cubes were found to be anisotropic, exhibiting different modulus values depending on the orientation of the printed layers. The VF models self-oscillated and withstood the strains induced by phonation. Print parameters were found to affect model vibration frequency and onset pressure. Primarily due to the design of the VF models, their onset pressures were higher than what is found in human VFs. However, their frequencies were within a comparable range.

      Conclusion

      The results demonstrate the ability to 3D print synthetic, self-oscillating VF models. It is anticipated that this method will be further refined and used in future studies exploring flow-induced vibratory characteristics of phonation.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      REFERENCES

        • Spencer M
        • Siegmund T
        • Mongeau L
        Determination of superior surface strains and stresses, and vocal fold contact pressure in a synthetic larynx model using digital image correlation.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2008; 123: 1089-1103
        • Pickup BA
        • Thomson SL
        Influence of asymmetric stiffness on the structural and aerodynamic response of synthetic vocal fold models.
        J Biomech. 2009; 42: 2219-2225
        • Zhang Z
        Vibration in a self-oscillating vocal fold model with left-right asymmetry in body-layer stiffness.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2010; 128: EL279-EL285
        • Zhang Z
        • Luu TH
        Asymmetric vibration in a two-layer vocal fold model with left-right stiffness asymmetry: experiment and simulation.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2012; 132: 1626-1635
        • Motie-Shirazi M
        • Zañartu M
        • Peterson SD
        • et al.
        Toward development of a vocal fold contact pressure probe: sensor characterization and validation using synthetic vocal fold models.
        Appl Sci. 2019; 9: 3002
        • Kniesburges S
        • Thomson SL
        • Barney A
        • et al.
        In vitro experimental investigation of voice production.
        Curr Bioinfor. 2011; 6: 305-322
        • Murray PR
        • Thomson SL
        Vibratory responses of synthetic, self-oscillating vocal fold models.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2012; 132: 3428-3438
        • Romero RGT
        Development and analysis of 3D-printed synthetic vocal fold models.
        Brigham Young University, 2019 (M.S. Thesis)
        • Hinton TJ
        • Jallerat Q
        • Palchesko RN
        • et al.
        Three-dimensional printing of complex biological structures by freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels.
        Sci Adv. 2015; 1e1500758
        • Bhattacharjee T
        • Gil CJ
        • Marshall SL
        • et al.
        Liquid-like solids support cells in 3D.
        ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2016; 2: 1787-1795
        • LeBlanc KJ
        • Niemi SR
        • Bennett AI
        • et al.
        Stability of high speed 3D printing in liquid-like solids.
        ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2016; 2: 1796-1799
        • Hajash K
        • Sparrman B
        • Guberan C
        • et al.
        Large-scale rapid liquid printing.
        3D Print Addit Manuf. 2017; 4: 123-132
        • O'Bryan CS
        • Bhattacharjee T
        • Hart S
        • et al.
        Self-assembled micro-organogels for 3D printing silicone structures.
        Sci Adv. 2017; 3e1602800
        • O'Bryan CS
        • Bhattacharjee T
        • Niemi SR
        • et al.
        Three-dimensional printing with sacrificial materials for soft matter manufacturing.
        MRS Bull. 2017; 42: 571-577
        • Murray PR
        • Thomson SL
        • Smith ME
        A synthetic self-oscillating vocal fold model platform for studying augmentation injection.
        J Voice. 2014; 28: 133-143
        • Syndergaard KL
        • Dushku S
        • Thomson SL
        Electrically-conductive synthetic vocal fold replicas for voice production research.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2017; 142: EL63-EL68
        • Taylor CJ
        • Tarbox GJ
        • Bolster BD
        • et al.
        MRI-based measurement of internal deformation of vibrating vocal fold models.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2019; 145: 989-997
        • Lodermeyer A
        • Tautz M
        • Becker S
        • et al.
        Aeroacoustic analysis of the human phonation process based on a hybrid acoustic PIV approach.
        Exp Fluids. 2018; 59: 13
        • Murray PR
        • Thomson SL
        Synthetic, multi-layer, self-oscillating vocal fold model fabrication.
        J Visualized Exp. 2011; 58: e3498
        • Alipour F
        • Vigmostad S
        Measurement of vocal folds elastic properties for continuum modeling.
        J Voice. 2012; 26: 816.e21-816.e29
        • Somireddy M
        • Czekanski A
        Mechanical characterization of additively manufactured parts by FE modeling of mesostructure.
        J Manuf Mater Process. 2017; 1: 18
        • Das SC
        • Ranganathan R
        • Murugan N
        Effect of build orientation on the strength and cost of PolyJet 3D printed parts.
        Rapid Prototyping J. 2018; 24: 832-839
        • Mueller J
        • Shea K
        Buckling, build orientation, and scaling effects in 3D printed lattices.
        Mater Today Commun. 2018; 17: 69-75
        • Rankouhi B
        • Javadpour S
        • Delfanian F
        • et al.
        Failure analysis and mechanical characterization of 3D printed ABS with respect to layer thickness and orientation.
        J Fail Anal Preven. 2016; 16: 467-481
        • Kotlinski J
        Mechanical properties of commercial rapid prototyping materials.
        Rapid Prototyping J. 2014; 20: 499-510
        • Miri AK
        • Mongrain R
        • Chen LX
        • et al.
        Quantitative assessment of the anisotropy of vocal fold tissue using shear rheometry and traction testing.
        J Biomech. 2012; 45: 2943-2946
        • Zhang Z
        • Neubauer J
        • Berry DA
        Influence of vocal fold stiffness and acoustic loading on flow-induced vibration of a single-layer vocal fold model.
        J Sound Vib. 2009; 322: 299-313
        • Baken RJ
        • Orlikoff RF
        Clinical Measurement of Speech and Voice.
        2nd ed. Singular, San Diego2000
        • Thomson SL
        • Mongeau L
        • Frankel SH
        Aerodynamic transfer of energy to the vocal folds.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2005; 118: 1689-1700