Modeling of the transient responses of the vocal fold lamina propria

Kai Zhang, Thomas Siegmund, Roger W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The human voice is produced by flow-induced self-sustained oscillation of the vocal fold lamina propria. The mechanical properties of vocal fold tissues are important for understanding phonation, including the time-dependent and transient changes in fundamental frequency (F0). Cyclic uniaxial tensile tests were conducted on a group of specimens of the vocal fold lamina propria, including the superficial layer (vocal fold cover) (5 male, 5 female) and the deeper layers (vocal ligament) (6 male, 6 female). Results showed that the vocal fold lamina propria, like many other soft tissues, exhibits both elastic and viscous behavior. Specifically, the transient mechanical responses of cyclic stress relaxation and creep were observed. A three-network constitutive model composed of a hyperelastic equilibrium network in parallel with two viscoplastic time-dependent networks proves effective in characterizing the cyclic stress relaxation and creep behavior. For male vocal folds at a stretch of 1.4, significantly higher peak stress was found in the vocal ligament than in the vocal fold cover. Also, the male vocal ligament was significantly stiffer than the female vocal ligament. Our findings may help explain the mechanisms of some widely observed transient phenomena in F0 regulation during phonation, such as the global declination in F0 during the production of declarative sentences, and local F0 changes such as overshoot and undershoot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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