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Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering involves combining engineering and biology to create materials that restore function in damaged or diseased tissues. This topic is relevant to communication sciences and disorders because many groups are currently applying tissue engineering strategies to vocal fold regeneration and replacement. When a recent study described an engineered vocal fold capable of lifelike vibration and sound production, headlines in the popular press conveyed the impression that clinical application was imminent. Patients with severe and intractable dysphonia will naturally be curious about such reports. As health-care providers are central to the assessment and treatment of dysphonia, Speech–Language pathologists (SLPs) should expect to field questions about tissue engineering relevant to the vocal folds. If and when engineered biomaterials are used in human vocal folds, SLPs will ...

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