A two-layer composite model of the vocal fold lamina propria for fundamental frequency regulation

Kai Zhang, Thomas Siegmund, Roger W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The mechanical properties of the vocal fold lamina propria, including the vocal fold cover and the vocal ligament, play an important role in regulating the fundamental frequency of human phonation. This study examines the equilibrium hyperelastic tensile deformation behavior of cover and ligament specimens isolated from excised human larynges. Ogden's hyperelastic model is used to characterize the tensile stress-stretch behaviors at equilibrium. Several statistically significant differences in the mechanical response differentiating cover and ligament, as well as gender are found. Fundamental frequencies are predicted from a string model and a beam model, both accounting for the cover and the ligament. The beam model predicts nonzero F0 for the unstretched state of the vocal fold. It is demonstrated that bending stiffness significantly contributes to the predicted F0, with the ligament contributing to a higher F0, especially in females. Despite the availability of only a small data set, the model predicts an age dependence of F0 in males in agreement with experimental findings. Accounting for two mechanisms of fundamental frequency regulation-vocal fold posturing (stretching) and extended clamping-brings predicted F0 close to the lower bound of the human phonatory range. Advantages and limitations of the current model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1101
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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