Ovine vocal fold tissue fatigue response to accumulated, large-amplitude vibration exposure at phonatory frequencies

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5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The contribution of tissue mechanical response to vocal fatigue is poorly understood. This study investigated the fatigue response of vocal fold tissues to large-amplitude vibration exposure at phonatory frequencies, using an ex vivo ovine model. Method: Twelve sheep vocal fold mucosal specimens were subjected to sinusoidal, simple-shear deformation for prolonged cycles, under a large but physiological shear strain (46%) in a frequency range of 100–230 Hz. The duration of shear varied from a critical vibration exposure limit of 1,040 s to 4 times the limit (4,160 s). Tissue viscoelastic response was quantified by the elastic shear modulus (G′), viscous shear modulus (G″), and damping ratio (G″/G′). Results: Distinct response patterns were observed at different frequencies. G′ and G″ generally decreased with vibration exposure at 100 Hz, whereas they generally increased with vibration exposure at 200 and 230 Hz. Statistically significant differences were found for G″ increasing with vibration exposure at 200 Hz and damping ratio decreasing with vibration exposure at 200 Hz. Significant increases with frequency were also found for all viscoelastic functions. Results suggested that the contribution of tissue viscoelastic response to vocal fatigue could be highly frequency dependent. In particular, increases in G″ with vibration exposure could lead to high phonation threshold pressures and difficulty sustaining phonation at higher frequencies following prolonged vocalization. Conclusion: These preliminary findings may help us better understand vocal fatigue and recovery and should be corroborated by studies with human vocal fold tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4291-4299
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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