Development of a totally implantable artificial larynx

G.J. Verkerke, A. Veenstra, M.P. de Vries, H.K. Schutte, H.J. Busscher, I.F. Herrmann, H.C. van der Mei, G. Rakhorst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Background. The consequences of a life-saving laryngectomy are still very distressing. The Eureka project "Artificial Larynx" aims at realization of an implantable artificial larynx to eliminate all drawbacks.

Methods. The artificial larynx will consist of artificial vocal folds of adjustable pitch and variable frequency during speech, an artificial epiglottis controlled by muscles, a valve mechanism to switch between breathing and speaking, and a tissue connector to connect the artificial larynx to the trachea.

Results. The valve mechanism has been designed and built and it can already be used as a tracheostoma valve. For the voice-producing element we intend to use mechanical and electrical vibrating principles. Potential principles are selected and will be built as prototype. A tissue connector with a porous surface has been designed. Research will focus on optimal materials for soft tissue ingrowth. To prevent bacterial and fungal adhesion to the artificial larynx the adhesion process to silicone rubber shunt valves has been analyzed. Bacterial colonization is followed by more harmful yeast strains. The materials resistance to this adhesion process will be developed.

Conclusions. Numerous problems have to be solved. Each solution. however, can be applied already to improve the existing rehabilitation process of laryngectomized patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoice update
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 1st World Voice Congress, Oporto, Portugal, April 9-13, 1995
EditorsM. Pais Clemente
ISBN (Print)978-0-444-82230-7
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event1st World Voice Congress 1995 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 Apr 199513 Apr 1995
Conference number: 1

Publication series

NameExcerpta Medica International Congress Series
ISSN (Print)0531-5131


Conference1st World Voice Congress 1995


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