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3D multiscale imaging of human vocal folds - Scientific Reports


The 3D architecture of human vocal folds was revealed ex vivo using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. This provides a better understanding of vocal-fold micromechanics and their outstanding vibratory characteristics. This paper was published in Scientific Reports, (14003, 2018).

Reference :
3D multiscale imaging of human vocal folds using synchrotron X-ray microtomography in phase retrieval mode, L. Bailly (a), T. Cochereau (a,b), L. Orgéas (a), N. Henrich Bernardoni (b), S. Rolland du Roscoat (a), A. McLeer-Florin (c), Y. Robert (d), X. Laval (b), T. Laurencin (a), P. Chaffanjon (d,b), B. Fayard (e), E. Boller (f), Scientific Reports 8, 14003 (2018); doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31849-w.
(a) Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, 3SR, Grenoble (France)
(b) Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, Grenoble (France)
(c) Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CHU Grenoble Alpes, Histology Lab, IAB, Grenoble (France)
(d) Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CHU Grenoble Alpes, LADAF, Grenoble (France)
(e) Novitom, Grenoble (France)
(f) ESRF

Abstract :
Human vocal folds possess outstanding abilities to endure large, reversible deformations and to vibrate up to more than thousand cycles per second. This unique performance mainly results from their complex specific 3D and multiscale structure, which is very difficult to investigate experimentally and still presents challenges using either confocal microscopy, MRI or X-ray microtomography in absorption mode. To circumvent these difficulties, we used high-resolution synchrotron X-ray microtomography with phase retrieval and report the first ex vivo 3D images of human vocal-fold tissues at multiple scales. Various relevant descriptors of structure were extracted from the images: geometry of vocal folds at rest or in a stretched phonatory-like position, shape and size of their layered fibrous architectures, orientation, shape and size of the muscle fibres as well as the set of collagen and elastin fibre bundles constituting these layers. The developed methodology opens a promising insight into voice biomechanics, which will allow further assessment of the micromechanics of the vocal folds and their vibratory properties. This will then provide valuable guidelines for the design of new mimetic biomaterials for the next generation of artificial larynges.

>> See the results on ESRF Website (Spotlight on science)

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