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Silicone Rubber Flap Restore Speech

Marein van der Torn and his colleagues at the Vrije University in Amsterdam in collaboration with the University of Groningen developed a new mechanism for vocal sound. //

Usually in case of throat cancer the larynx or the voice box as it is called has to be surgically removed.

The patients after this surgery find it very difficult to talk with the rubber silicone artificial valve. This valve is implanted in-between the windpipe and oesophagus.

But after this surgery though the patient can converse their voice is rough and is very low pitched and not audible.

Female patients find it very difficult to adjust after the surgery as the voice cannot be clearly understood.

The new discovery is of great help to the female patients. The new valve synthesizes its own sound.

The valve consists of a small silicone flap which is implanted in place of the vocal cord that has been removed. Two flaps each of them unique to male and female was developed.

The mechanism with which it works is the vibrations felt by the flap, air resistance and the vocal sound was produced. All of which were tested in-vitro on a group of patients at the medical centre.

The results were compared with those patients devoid the silicone rubber flap.

The result of this study was that female patients benefited from this new discovery. Their voice from being very week and inaudible became strong and had a distinct female pitch.

But as of now it will not be available in the markets because the flap is easily impaired by the mucous that is coughed out by the patients.

Hence further research has to be conducted on improving its tensile strength at the same time maintaining its elasticity and fragility.


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