In "Engineered vocal cords show promise," (SN: 12/26/15, p. 9) Chris Samoray wrote about bioengineered tissue that hums in tune with human vocal cords. The approach "opens a route to developing new therapies for people who have lost their voice due to surgery or disease."
Reader Mike Cord wondered: Hasn't a currently available prosthesis known as the Blom-Singer valve brought relief to many laryngectomy patients? "It seems to be an overstatement that good treatment is not available," he wrote.
Nathan Welham, who led the study, responded: "Our article describes a treatment to replace impaired or missing vocal fold mucosa, which is the vibrating portion of the larynx that is important for making sound for voice. It is not necessarily a treatment for laryngectomy patients who have had the entire larynx removed."