Therapeutic Swallow Sensor

Project: Research project

Project Details


Northwestern will be responsible for delivering on Specific Aim 1 and Specific Aim 1b detailed below. Specific Aim 1: Test the feasibility of detecting the onset of respiratory phase and swallowing using noninvasive, acouticomechanical surface skin recordings obtained from the sternal notch in swallowing impaired (dysphagic) patients who have been treated for cancers of the head and neck, have neurological disease or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Gold standard comparisons will be synchronized videofluoroscopic images obtained during standard of care, modified barium swallowing (MBS) studies and respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) recordings (surface recordings of rib cage and abdominal movements). Specific Aim 1b: Test the accuracy of an automated software routine to detect swallowing onset, and associated respiratory phase and lung volume. Gold standard comparisons will be manual records of swallow onset, respiratory phase and lung volume. Pilot studies have shown the feasibility of using acousticomechanical recordings to detect respiratory swallowing behavior in normal controls, but this method has not been tested in dysphagic patients with neurologic diseases, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or, altered head and neck anatomy following surgical and/or radiation treatments for head and neck cancer.
Effective start/end date10/1/208/14/22


  • Sonica LLC (#17777//Xu AGMT 2/1/21)
  • Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (#17777//Xu AGMT 2/1/21)


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