Nonlinear viscoelastic characterization of human vocal fold tissues under large-amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS)

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24 Scopus citations


Viscoelastic shear properties of human vocal fold tissues were previously quantified by the shear moduli (G′ and G″). Yet these small-strain linear measures were unable to describe any nonlinear tissue behavior. This study attempted to characterize the nonlinear viscoelastic response of the vocal fold lamina propria under large-amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS) with a stress decomposition approach. Human vocal fold cover and vocal ligament specimens from eight subjects were subjected to LAOS rheometric testing with a simple-shear rheometer. The empirical total stress response was decomposed into elastic and viscous stress components, based on odd-integer harmonic decomposition approach with the Fourier transform. Nonlinear viscoelastic measures derived from the decomposition were plotted in Pipkin space and as rheological fingerprints to observe the onset of nonlinearity and the type of nonlinear behavior. Results showed that both the vocal fold cover and the vocal ligament experienced intercycle strain softening, intracycle strain stiffening, as well as shear thinning both intercycle and intracycle. The vocal ligament appeared to demonstrate an earlier onset of nonlinearity at phonatory frequencies, and higher sensitivity to changes in frequency and strain. In summary, the stress decomposition approach provided much better insight into the nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of the vocal fold lamina propria than the traditional linear measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-712
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Rheology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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