The Effect of Vocal Fold Geometry on the Fluid Structure Acoustic Interactions in an Experimental Model of the Human Airway

Open Access
Campo, Elizabeth Theresa
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Michael H Krane, Thesis Advisor
  • fluid-structure interaction
  • aeroacoustics
  • biofluids
  • phonation
  • voice production
  • vocal fold geometry
Currently, there is an incomplete understanding concerning the effects of changing the vocal fold (vocal cord) structure or material composition on voice production. Consequentially, clinicians encounter difficulties in the prognosis of voice disorders, as they are unable to predict the effects of a vocal fold alteration on the patient’s voice. The experiments detailed in this thesis maintain as their focal point characterization of the human airway model and ways in which vocal fold physiology changes relate to the fluid structure interactions that occur in the human airway, specifically related to sound sources. A sound source is a mechanism that produces a change in pressure or density. With a combination of transglottal pressure, radiated sound, volume flow and high speed imaging measurements, the experimental arrangement is capable of measuring the quantities used to estimate these source strengths. Varying the vocal fold model structure that correspond male and female geometry provides insight into establishing the manner in which modifications to the geometry and symmetry of the vocal fold affect the source strength.