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Paradigms and Progress in Vocal Fold Restoration


  • Charles N. Ford MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
    • Send correspondence to Charles N. Ford, MD, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Avenue, K4/712, Madison, WI 53792
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  • Daniel C. Baker

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    • Lecture American Laryngological Association, Jr. Lecture

  • Presented at the American Laryngological Association and Triological Society Meeting during the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. Editor's Note: This Manuscript was accepted for publication April 14, 2008.


Science advances occur through orderly steps, puzzle-solving leaps, or divergences from the accepted disciplinary matrix that occasionally result in a revolutionary paradigm shift. Key advances must overcome bias, criticism, and rejection. Examples in biological science include use of embryonic stem cells, recognition of Helicobacter pylori in the etiology of ulcer disease, and the evolution of species. Our work in vocal fold restoration reflects these patterns. We progressed through phases of tissue replacement with fillers and biological implants, to current efforts at vocal fold regeneration through tissue engineering, and face challenges of a new “systems biology” paradigm embracing genomics and proteomics.