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This study investigated the impact of selective epithelial injury on phonation in an excised human larynx apparatus. With intact epithelium, the vocal folds exhibited a symmetrical vibration pattern with complete glottal closure during vibration. The epithelium was then enzymatically removed from one, then both vocal folds, which led to left-right asymmetric vibration and a decreased closed quotient. Although the mechanisms underlying these vibratory changes are unclear, these results demonstrate that some component of an intact surface layer may play an important role in achieving normal symmetric vibration and glottal closure.


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