Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Edward Sander

Second Advisor

Ingo Titze


Human vocalization has always been considered in the context of communication. In recent years, mechanical forces have been shown to have a wide variety of effects on biological systems. Since the vocal cords produce measurable vibrations to the surrounding tissue, including the thyroid, I hypothesize that vocalization could mechanically stimulate thyroid epithelial cells.

The data presented in this dissertation highlight some of the important factors for thyroid hormone synthesis. I was able to show that mechanical stimulation provided from vocalization has a similar response as hormonal stimulation on the thyroid. I also demonstrated that this response is dependent on the dosage of the oscillation.

Insight into thyroid stimulation via mechanical forces may be useful for a range of medical issues spanning from hypothyroidism to astronauts travelling in space.


mechanobiology, thyroid


x, 97 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-97).


Copyright © 2017 Andrew P. Wagner