An actuated larynx phantom for pre-clinical evaluation of droplet-based reflex-stimulating laryngoscopes

verfasst von
Jacob Friedemann Fast, Jiazhen He, Tobias Ortmaier, Michael Jungheim, Martin Ptok, Lüder Alexander Kahrs

The laryngeal adductor reflex (LAR) is an important protective function of the larynx to prevent aspiration and potentially fatal aspiration pneumonia by rapidly closing the glottis. Recently, a novel method for targeted stimulation and evaluation of the LAR has been proposed to enable non-invasive and reproducible LAR performance grading and to extend the understanding of this reflexive mechanism. The method relies on the laryngoscopically controlled application of accelerated water droplets in association with a high-speed camera system for LAR stimulation site and reflex onset latency identification. Prototype laryngoscopes destined for this method require validation prior to extensive clinical trials. Furthermore, demonstrations using a realistic phantom could increase patient compliance in future clinical settings. For these purposes, a model of the human larynx including vocal fold actuation for LAR simulation was developed in this work. The combination of image processing based on a custom algorithm and individual motorization of each vocal fold enables spatio-temporal droplet impact detection and controlled vocal fold adduction. To simulate different LAR pathologies, the current implementation allows to individually adjust the reflex onset latency of the ipsi- and contralateral vocal fold with respect to the automatically detected impact location of the droplet as well as the maximum adduction angle of each vocal fold. An experimental study of the temporal offset between desired and observed LAR onset latency due to image processing was performed for three average droplet masses based on highspeed recordings of the phantom. Median offsets of 100, 120 and 128 ms were found (n=16). This offset most likely has a multifactorial cause (image processing delay, inertia of the mechanical components, droplet motion). The observed offset increased with increasing droplet mass, as fluid oscillations after impact may have been detected as motion. In future work, alternative methods for droplet impact detection could be explored and the observed offset could be used for compensation of this undesirable delay.

Institut für Mechatronische Systeme
Externe Organisation(en)
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH)
University of Toronto
Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering
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