Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2010
Mentor: Ted Mau, MD PhD.
Department: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Room number: G7.214
Mail Code: 9035
Phone number: 214-648-2042
Project title: Aerodynamic phonatory measurements in an excised larynx model
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): not applicable
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): not applicable
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects) Basic research
Brief Description of Project:
This project is particularly suitable for a student with a background in the engineering or physical sciences who desires to work on a project encompassing biomechanics, physiology, and human disease. With the participation of a 2009 summer medical student, we have created an excised larynx phonation apparatus. This allows us to measure the minimum air flow and pressure necessary to initiate vibrations of the vocal folds of an excised animal or human larynx in the laboratory. The threshold flow and pressure reflect the tissue properties and geometrical properties of the vocal folds. This type of information is key to advancing our knowledge of vocal fold biomechanics and the effect of various types of surgeries on voice production.
The 2010 student will participate in the study of the effect of vocal fold injections on the aerodynamic properties of phonation. Vocal fold injections have been used for a century to improve phonation in vocal fold paralysis. In recent years injections have gained popularity due to the proliferation of new injection materials and new surgical techniques to deliver them. Yet the effects of injections on vocal fold posturing and tissue biomechanics have not been well characterized. Further understanding of how injections achieve improved voicing will lead to better surgical results and potential development of new surgical techniques for voice improvement. The student will carry out aerodynamic measurements of excised larynges before and after vocal fold injections. S/he will learn about laryngeal physiology and function and perform data collection and analysis. If the student has the appropriate background, s/he can also implement technical improvements to the existing set-up created last summer.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Kent Weinheimer (Class of 2013) "Aerodynamic phonatory measurements in an excised larynx model", UTSW Medical Student Summer Research Program (2009).
Abstracts and Publications:
Mau T & Weinheimer K. (2010) Three-dimensional arytenoid movement induced by vocal fold injections. Oral presentation at the American Laryngological Association meeting, April 28, 2010, Las Vegas.
Mau T & Weinheimer K. (2010) Three-dimensional arytenoid movement induced by vocal fold injections. Manuscript in preparation.