Simulating Voices by 3D-Printing Vocal Tracts and Larynx Through DNA-Based Predictions

#Science

Sun, Mar 22nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

By collecting DNA samples belonging to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), researchers were able to create a 3D printed "vocal tract and larynx" using DNA-based prediction, allowing for the simulation of his voice.

The application of 3D printing in tissue engineering has enabled new methods for the fabrication of organs and body parts using inkjet techniques. Synthetic biopolymers have been developed and combined with nanofibers and nano-structured particles to fabricate materials with selective bioactivity, as well as physical and chemical properties. Since 2014, the synthesis of biopolymers can be computer-tailored to spatially encode gene properties.

Bio-measures inferred from Nietzsche’s voice profile data were used to build a 3D model of a vocal tract and larynx through which artificial voiced sounds were organically computed. The M-shaped model was 3D-printed with biopolymer-based composites (collagen, chondroitin sulphate, chitin) at subcellular resolution. Tissue-engineered constructs integrated phonatory aerodynamics, muscle contractions, viscoelastic properties, thermal agitation, glottal flow rate, phonatory fluid-structure interactions, frequency, vocal weight, texture, timbre, and prosody. Additional voice determinants (such as age and geography of accent) were manually input.

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