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Modelling Voice Producing Elements

By R.M. Hu


For patients with advanced laryngeal cancer it is sometimes necessary to surgically remove the complete larynx. The most disturbing consequence for these patients is the loss of the natural way to speak. To speak again a shunt valve is put in the surgically created trachea-esophageal (TE) puncture. This way airflow from the the trachea can flow to the esophagus and initiate a vibration. A primary disadvantage of TE speech is the unnaturally low fundamental frequency. To improve the speech a voice producing element (VPE) can be incorporated in the shunt valve. This VPE consists out of two membranes stretched within a cylindrical channel. The membrane-based VPE is two-dimensionally modelled in COMSOL Multiphysics. The models for this VPE and results will be presented.

Year: 2010
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