Restoring voice

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Science  20 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6263, pp. 908-909
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad7695

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In most mammals, a vocal sound begins with the vibration of paired vocal cords within the larynx. These delicate structures—more accurately called vocal folds because they resemble folded layers of fabric—can stiffen after traumatic injury, cancer treatment, or unknown environmental or genetic insults. Current voice medicine has limited options to repair or replace damaged vocal folds when the voice disturbance is disabling (1). A recent study by Ling et al. (2) reports a tissue engineering approach that could lead to implants that replace the unique vocal fold mucosa and restore vocalization.