Objective: The linear skin rheometer (LSR), which measures skin visco-elasticity, was adapted for measurements of vocal fold properties. A series of studies was performed on animal and human excised larynges to determine if the LSR technique can be applied to the vocal fold. Methods: In excised larynges, small patches of mucosa were driven sinusoidally at 0.3 Hz over distances of 1–2 mm using a small probe. Forces in the order of 1 g equivalent gave optimal measurements. Stiffness and viscosity values were derived from stress/strain data. Results: The instrument was able to measure the visco-elasticity of the tissue in a repeatable manner and it could detect areas where the tissue was artificially stiffened. Two-dimensional maps of the mechanical properties of the laryngeal mucosa were obtained showing local variations in elasticity both parallel and perpendicular to the vocal fold edge. Initial studies were undertaken using animal tissue; more recently, the LSR has been successfully used to obtain similar data from human tissue. Conclusion: The LSR was been demonstrated to be capable of measuring the elastic properties of the vocal fold in a repeatable and reliable manner. Further studies will now be undertaken to obtain data from a larger sample of human tissue.

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