3D-FV-FE aeroacoustic larynx model for investigation of functional based voice disorders

Sebastian Falk*, Stefan Kniesburges, Stefan Schoder, Bernhard Jakubaß, Paul Maurerlehner, Matthias Echternach, Manfred Kaltenbacher, Michael Döllinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the clinical analysis of underlying mechanisms of voice disorders, we developed a numerical aeroacoustic larynx model, called simVoice, that mimics commonly observed functional laryngeal disorders as glottal insufficiency and vibrational left-right asymmetries.
The model is a combination of the Finite Volume (FV) CFD solver Star-CCM+ and the Finite Element (FE) aeroacoustic solver CFS++. simVoice models turbulence using Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and the acoustic wave propagation with the perturbed convective wave equation (PCWE). Its geometry corresponds to a simplified larynx and a vocal tract model representing the vowel /a/.
The oscillations of the vocal folds are externally driven. In total, 10 configurations with different degrees of functional-based disorders were simulated and analyzed.
The energy transfer between the glottal airflow and the vocal folds decreases with an increasing glottal insufficiency and potentially reflects the higher effort during speech for patients being concerned. This loss of energy transfer may also have an essential influence on the quality of the sound signal as expressed by decreasing sound pressure level (SPL), Cepstral Peak Prominence (CPP), and Vocal Efficiency (VE). Asymmetry in the vocal fold oscillations also reduces the quality of the sound signal.
However, simVoice confirmed previous clinical and experimental observations that a high level of glottal insufficiency worsens the acoustic signal quality more than oscillatory left-right asymmetry. Both symptoms in combination will further reduce the quality of the sound signal.
In summary, simVoice allows for detailed analysis of the origins of disordered voice production and hence fosters the further understanding of laryngeal physiology, including occurring dependencies. A current walltime of 10h/cycle is, with a prospective increase in computing power, auspicious for a future clinical use of simVoice
Original languageEnglish
Article number616985
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021


  • computational aero acoustics
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • glottal insufficiency
  • left-right asymmetry
  • posterior gap
  • simVoice (numerical larynx model)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

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