Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering vol:17 issue:16 pages:1835-1852
Mechanical stresses develop within vocal fold (VF) soft tissues due to phonation-associated vibration and collision. These stresses in turn affect the hydration of VF tissue and thus influence voice health. In this paper, high-fidelity numerical computations are described, taking into account fully 3D geometry, realistic tissue and air properties, and high-amplitude vibration and collision. A segregated solver approach is employed, using sophisticated commercial solvers for both the VF tissue and glottal airflow domains. The tissue viscoelastic properties were derived from a biphasic formulation. Two cases were considered, whereby the tissue viscoelastic properties corresponded to two different volume fractions of the fluid phase of the VF tissue. For each case, hydrostatic stresses occurring as a result of vibration and collision were investigated. Assuming the VF tissue to be poroelastic, interstitial fluid movement within VF tissue was estimated from the hydrostatic stress gradient. Computed measures of overall VF dynamics (peak airflow velocity, magnitude of VF deformation, frequency of vibration and contact pressure) were well within the range of experimentally observed values. The VF motion leading to mechanical stresses within the VFs and their effect on the interstitial fluid flux is detailed. It is found that average deformation and vibration of VFs tend to increase the state of hydration of the VF tissue, whereas VF collision works to reduce hydration.