Towards microprocessor-based control of droplet parameters for endoscopic laryngeal adductor reflex triggering

Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering(2017)

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AbstractThe so-called Laryngeal Adductor Reflex (LAR) protects the respiratory tract from particle intrusion by quickly approximating the vocal folds to close the free glottal space. An impaired LAR may be associated with an increased risk of aspiration and other adverse conditions. To evaluate the integrity of the LAR, we recently developed an endoscopic prototype for LAR triggering by shooting accelerated droplets onto a predefined laryngeal target region. We now modified the existing droplet-dispensing system to adapt the fluid system pressure as well as the valve opening time to user-chosen values autonomously. This has been accomplished using a microcontroller board connected to a pressure sensor and a mechatronic syringe pump. For performance validation, we designed a measurement setup capable of tracking the droplet along a vertical trajectory. In addition to the experimental setup, the influence of parameters such as system pressure and valve opening time on the micro-droplet formation is presented. Further development will enable the physician to adjust the droplet momentum by setting a single input value on the microcontroller-based setup, thus further increasing usability of the diagnostic device.
dysphagia,aspiration pneumonia,larynx,vocal folds,laryngeal adductor reflex (lar),droplet-dispensing system,solenoid valve
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