UW-Madison researchers grow vocal cords in lab

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Researchers have grown human vocal cords in the laboratory that appear capable of producing sound — in hopes of one day treating voice-robbing disorders.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison bioengineered tissue that looks like the tiny folds nestled in a human voice box. But do they vibrate the right way to make sound?

To tell, the researchers glued the new tissue into a voice box that had been taken from a dog after its death. Blowing air through an artificial windpipe produced a telltale buzzing that suggests the tissue would work inside a body.

The research was reported Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.