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February 18, 2016 / drjamesfreije

New Hope for Returned Voice Found in Bioengineered Vocal Cord


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James Freije

An associate in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery with Mount Nittany Physician Group in State College, Pennsylvania, Dr. James Freije provides comprehensive care to children and adults. Possessing more than three decades of medical experience, Dr. James Freije is familiar with a variety of diseases and illnesses, including head and neck and laryngeal cancer.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently released their promising results for a new therapy for individuals who have lost their voice following disease or surgery. The therapy involves using bioengineered tissue to replace lost or damaged parts of a patient’s vocal cords and has, so far, been tested successfully on both mice and dog cadavers. According to the results, the mice fully accepted the man-made vocal cord, and the use of the tissue in the dogs’ larynges was nearly identical to normal vocal vibrations.

These results come as good news for the close to 30 percent of individuals in the United States who will suffer a voice-related problem at some point in their lives. It is especially positive news for those individuals who have had large portions of vocal cord tissue removed due to serious illnesses like laryngeal cancer. The bioengineered tissue took roughly two weeks to grow into a normal, human vocal fold, but several clinical and approval steps are still required before the bioengineered tissue is cleared for use in humans.

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