The first robotic simulation of pharyngeal swallowing

  • 3D model of human larynx – scale 1:1
  • Mobility of each component of pharyngo-laryngeal apparatus
  • Swallowing events can be precisely controlled by acting on pre-programmed chronograms
  • Accurate displacement system mimics features such as:
    • Tongue base recoil
    • Laryngeal elevation
    • Peristaltic pharyngeal movement
    • Epiglottis closure of larynx
    • Vocal fold adduction

Control System

  • Respect of the chronological order of physiological events
  • Each component can be separately controlled from a specific interface
  • Accurate observation by dual high-speed synchronized camera
  • Pressure generators to mimic respiratory airflow and upper esophageal pressure
  • Pressure sensors to monitor internal manometry
  • Automated bolus injection system

Future directions

Integration of a Swallowing simulation software fed and improved by the clinical data (VFS). This would enable to offer a hardware-software solution for:

  • Study and diagnosis of known pathologies
  • Validation of modified-texture diet according to the patient’s conditions
  • Development of patient specific laryngeal/pharyngeal implants with respect to their specific swallowing disorder.

1) C.Debry, et al. “Laryngeal replacement with an artificial larynx after total laryngectomy: the possibility of restoring larynx functionality in the future.” Head & neck 36.11 (2014): 1669-1673.
2) Raguin, Thibaut, et al. “Method for dealing with severe aspiration using a new concept of intralaryngeal prothesis: A case report.” Head & neck 38.10 (2016).