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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2011 Mar;120(3):175-84.

Assessment of canine vocal fold function after injection of a new biomaterial designed to treat phonatory mucosal scarring.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Most cases of irresolvable hoarseness are due to deficiencies in the pliability and volume of the superficial lamina propria of the phonatory mucosa. By using a US Food and Drug Administration-approved polymer, polyethylene glycol (PEG), we created a novel hydrogel (PEG30) and investigated its effects on multiple vocal fold structural and functional parameters.


We injected PEG30 unilaterally into 16 normal canine vocal folds with survival times of 1 to 4 months. High-speed videos of vocal fold vibration, induced by intratracheal airflow, and phonation threshold pressures were recorded at 4 time points per subject. Three-dimensional reconstruction analysis of 11.7 T magnetic resonance images and histologic analysis identified 3 cases wherein PEG30 injections were the most superficial, so as to maximally impact vibratory function. These cases were subjected to in-depth analyses.


High-speed video analysis of the 3 selected cases showed minimal to no reduction in the maximum vibratory amplitudes of vocal folds injected with PEG30 compared to the non-injected, contralateral vocal fold. All PEG30-injected vocal folds displayed mucosal wave activity with low average phonation threshold pressures. No significant inflammation was observed on microlaryngoscopic examination. Magnetic resonance imaging and histologic analyses revealed time-dependent resorption of the PEG30 hydrogel by phagocytosis with minimal tissue reaction or fibrosis.


The PEG30 hydrogel is a promising biocompatible candidate biomaterial to restore form and function to deficient phonatory mucosa, while not mechanically impeding residual endogenous superficial lamina propria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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