There is increasing demand for reconstruction of glottal insufficiency. Several injection materials have been examined for this purpose, but all had limitations, such as poor long-term durability, migration from the injection site, inflammation, granuloma formation, and interference with vocal fold vibration due to viscoelastic mismatch. Here, we developed a novel injection material, consisting of polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres, which exhibits better viscoelasticity than conventional materials, and Pluronic F127 carrier, which decreases the migration of the injection materials. The material was injected into rabbits with glottal insufficiency and compared with the FDA-approved injection material, calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA). Endoscopic and histological examinations indicated that PCL/Pluronic F127 remained at the injection site with no inflammatory response or granuloma formation, whereas CaHA leaked out and migrated from the injection site. Therefore, vocal fold augmentation was almost completely retained during the 12-month follow-up period in this study. Moreover, induced phonation and high-speed recording of vocal fold vibration showed decreased vocal fold gap area in the PCL/Pluronic F127 group. Our newly developed injection material, PCL/Pluronic F127, permits efficient augmentation of paralyzed vocal fold without complications, a concept that can be applied clinically, as demonstrated by the successful long-term follow-up.
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