Viscoelastic properties of numerous vocal fold injectables have been reported but not at speaking frequencies. For materials intended for Reinke's space, ramifications of property values are of great concern because of their impact on ease of voice onset. Our objectives were: 1) to measure viscoelastic properties of a new nonresorbing carbomer and well-known vocal fold injectables at vocalization frequencies using established and new instrumentation, and 2) to predict phonation threshold pressures using a computer model with intended placement in Reinke's space.
Rheology and phonation threshold pressure calculations.
Injectables were evaluated with a traditional rotational rheometer and a new piezo-rotary vibrator. Using these data at vocalization frequencies, phonation threshold pressures (PTP) were calculated for each biomaterial, assuming a low dimensional model with supraglottic coupling and adjusted vocal fold length and thickness at each frequency. Results were normalized to a nominal PTP value.
Viscoelastic data were acquired at vocalization frequencies as high as 363 to 1,400 Hz for six new carbomer hydrogels, Hylan B, and Extracel intended for vocal fold Reinke's space injection and for Cymetra (lateral injection). Reliability was confirmed with good data overlap when measuring with either rheometer. PTP predictions ranged from 0.001 to 16 times the nominal PTP value of 0.283 kPa.
Accurate viscoelastic measurements of vocal fold injectables are now possible at physiologic frequencies. Hylan B, Extracel, and the new carbomer hydrogels should generate easy vocal onset and sustainable vocalization based on their rheologic properties if injected into Reinke's space. Applications may vary depending on desired longevity of implant. Laryngoscope, 2010