You are here

Closed-loop laryngeal pacing for voice restoration

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41DC020869-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41DC020869
Amount: $382,366.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA22-178
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-07-31
Small Business Information
2056 South 1100 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84106-2319
United States
DUNS: 145387341
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (801) 413-0139
Business Contact
Phone: (801) 413-0139
Research Institution
BOSTON, MA 02114-2621
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Project Summary and Abstract The most common neurogenic voice disorder is unilateral
vocal fold paralysis (UVFP), which can substantially reduce quality of life. Current available
surgical treatments offer only temporary improvement in voice through placement of resorbable
materials or involve permanent, invasive alteration of the larynx that incompletely restores voice
and often requires revision surgeries. There is limited access to advanced surgical procedures
with moderately better outcomes due to the need for specialized surgical techniques and an
increased risk of invasive procedures.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has the potential to restore dynamic vocal fold (VF)
closure (adduction), improving voice and airway protective outcomes for the UVFP patient
population. Laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) studies have shown that about 85% of those
with chronic UVFP do not have complete VF denervation, opening the door to low-intensity
closed-loop FES to reanimate paralyzed VFs. Several studies have indeed shown that
laryngeal muscles with synkinetic reinnervation can be effectively stimulated or “paced” to
restore dynamic VF opening (abduction). However, laryngeal pacing devices to date have only
stimulated VF abduction to facilitate breathing and have only used preset patterns of stimulation
(open-loop control) rather than sensing and responding to the physiological needs of the
individual (closed-loop control). Herein we describe a novel closed-loop laryngeal FES system
for reanimation of VF closure (adduction) to treat UVFP. The proposed system builds upon
proven approaches for implant devices and FES, yet includes multiple key innovative elements,
and will create an entirely new medical device tailored for reanimation of paralyzed VF
adduction to support voice and airway protection.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government