There is a growing clinical need for improving the assessment of vocal fold tissue properties in vivo, especially dynamic properties measured during human voice production. To address this need, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with MGH Voice Center, will develop a clinically-viable imaging system that will integrate optical coherence tomography (OCT) with laryngeal high-speed videoendoscopy (HSV). A transoral endoscope will be developed to assess surface appearance, surface shape, and sub-epithelial anatomy of vocal fold tissue at rest and during phonation. Phase I bench-top testing on fresh calf larynges will include empirical validation of spatial and temporal alignment and optimization of the field of view for each modality. The PSI/MGH team will perform data analysis and assessment of the results to continue to develop effective ways of visualizing the vocal folds using the different modes of system operation. A clinical prototype is proposed to be developed in Phase II and tested on human patients.
The central focus of this project is to develop a clinically viable imaging system using optical coherence tomography and high-speed imaging technology that can assess surface appearance, surface shape and sub-epithelial anatomy of vocal fold tissue during phonation. The combination of these technologies into an integrated endoscope will enable quantitative and real-time monitoring of vocal fold diseases and treatment outcome. This technology could significantly improve the assessment of vocal fold tissue motion and treatment options for voice disorders.