Gender in human phonation: Fluid-structure interaction and vocal fold morphology
Physics of Fluids
This paper aims to examine the effects of variations in the vocal fold (VF) morphological features associated with gender on glottal aerodynamics and tissue deformation. Nine three-dimensional geometries of the VFs in the larynx are created with various VF lengths, thicknesses, and depths to perform a parametric analysis according to gender-related geometrical parameters. The computational model is incorporated in a fluid-structure interaction methodology by adopting the transient Navier-Stokes equations to model airflow through the larynx and considering a linear elasticity model for VF dynamics. The model predictions, such as aerodynamic data through the larynx, glottal airflow, and VF deformations, are analyzed. The comparison of the simulation results for the nine cases supports the hypothesis that gender differences in laryngeal dimensions remarkably influence the glottal airflow and deformation of the VFs. Decreasing VF thickness and increasing its length corresponds to a noticeable increase in maximum tissue displacement, while variations in depth affect the flow rate significantly in the small and large larynges. Conversely, we observed that the pressure drop at the glottis is nearly independent of the VF length. A comparison of the glottal area with published imaging data illustrated a direct correlation between the glottal configuration and the morphology of the VFs.
McCollum, I., Throop, A., Badr, D., & Zakerzadeh, R. (2023). Gender in human phonation: Fluid-structure interaction and vocal fold morphology. Physics of Fluids, 35 (4). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0146162