Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1999 May;36(3):217-23.

A finite element model of the soft palate.

Author information

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, The National Center for Voice and Speech, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242-1012, USA.



As a step toward better understanding of normal and abnormal velar control, a finite element model of the soft palate was developed.


A static two-dimensional midsagittal model of the velum was given physical dimensions to match that of a 10-year-old boy. Biomechanical properties of the tissues were inferred based on previous histologic studies. Velar movements were induced by the influence of three extrinisic velar muscles: the levator veli palatini, the palatoglossus, and the palatopharyngeus, which were simulated as external forces acting on the velar model.


Velopharyngeal opened and closed positions were simulated as well as a variety of intermediate steps between the two configurations. Velopharyngeal closure was also simulated in a manner appropriate for both high and low vowels. Future extensions of the model will incorporate the muscles as an intrinsic component of the model and will include a full time-dependent implementation, including inertial effects. Future studies will compare model predictions with experimental data from the laboratory, including both kinematic data and velopharyngeal closure forces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center