A silicone human head model for testing acoustic properties of the upper airway

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



The purpose of this project is to create an actual- size, anatomically accurate human head model that contains a void for the upper airway. The model is intended to be used for studying the acoustic properties of the breathing sound. The model was constructed with silicone rubber that has acoustic properties similar to those of soft tissues. The main challenge of the project was to construct the model with a single, homogenous piece of silicone, which is necessary to avoid any interface affecting the sound transmission. The model included the head, portion of the neck containing the suprasternal notch, a functioning airway with nasal and oral passageways, sinuses, and the trachea. A technique developed in this study was the development of an airway model made of gelatin. The gelatin model occupied the space in the head model mold when silicone rubber was poured. The gelatin was later removed by boiling the model in water to leave the void of the airway inside the model. © 2013 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the IEEE Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC