Influence of vocal fold stiffness and acoustic loading on flow-induced vibration of a single-layer vocal fold model

Zhaoyan Zhang, Juergen Neubauer, David A. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The flow-induced vibrations of a single-layer vocal fold model were investigated as a function of vocal fold stiffness, and subglottal and supraglottal acoustic loading. Previously, it was reported that the single-layer vocal fold model failed to vibrate when short, clinically relevant tracheal tubes were used. Moreover, it was reported that the model had a propensity to be acoustically driven, and aerodynamically driven vibration was observed only when a vertical restraint was applied superiorly to the vocal folds. However, in this study involving a wider range of source/tract conditions, the previous conclusions were shown to apply only for the special case of a stiff vocal fold model, for which self-oscillation occurred only when the vocal fold vibration synchronized to either a subglottal or supraglottal resonance. For a more general case, when vocal fold stiffness was decreased, the model did exhibit self-oscillation at short tracheal tubes, and no vertical restraint was needed to induce aerodynamically driven phonation. Nevertheless, the vocal fold vibration transitioned from aerodynamically driven to acoustically driven vibration when one of the subglottal resonance frequencies approximated one of the natural frequencies of the vocal folds. In this region, strong superior-inferior vibrations were observed, the phonation threshold pressure was significantly reduced, and the phonation onset frequency was heavily influenced by the dominant acoustic resonance. For acoustically driven phonation, a compliant subglottal system always lowered phonation threshold. However, an inertive vocal tract could either increase or decrease phonation threshold pressure, depending on the phonation frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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