Tissue Engineering: Vocal Fold Tissue Engineering
The human vocal folds are paired structures that are brought into contact across the airway for sound production. Each vocal fold consists of a pliable vibratory layer of connective tissue, known as the lamina propria (LP), sandwiched between epithelium and muscle. The lamina propria plays a critical role in the production of voice as its shape and tension determine the vibratory characteristics of the vocal folds. Under normal conditions, vocal folds can sustain up to 30% strain at frequencies of 100 to 1000 Hz. Mechanical stresses and pathological conditions can disrupt the natural pliability of LP, resulting in vocal fold disorders ranging from benign nodules to laryngeal cancer. Successful engineering of functional vocal fold lamina propria relies on the strategic combination of multipotent cells, physiologically relevant mechanical stimulations and biomimetic matrices.
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