June 13 - Mega-star singers Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler and Julie Andrews have thrown their support behind ground-breaking research in Boston, to produce synthetic vocal cords for people who cannot speak because of disease or injury. The scientists behind the research say they are ready to test the vocal cords on humans in clinical trials, the next step toward giving a voice to the voiceless. Ben Gruber reports.
Doctor Stevens -- tells has made it his life's work to give people lost their voice. The ability to speak again. He's performed thousands of surgeries on people with damaged vocal -- many of them throat cancer patients. He says his patience greatest fear is losing the way to communicate with the world around them. The most common thing that has been said to me is adopt by people who have lost their voices I took it for granted. Folks don't know. What it's like to almost lived Andy and me emotional jail when you can't express yourself. But so I tell says there's a way out of that jail. And it lines and restore it she began several years ago an effort to make synthetic vocal chords for the voiceless. The efficiency of the human voice and and that the timber and the the smoothness of the human voice is often based on how soft they are a pliable they are. So we set about working on the problem of restoring human vocal -- viability. And that's led us to a range of bio materials. Designed tells joint forces with -- MIT institute professor Robert linger a leading scientists in the field of bioengineering. The team has developed a polymer based shell with a until balance of softness and liability. Allowing it to vibrate just like real local courts. Wenger says when the general was injected into membranes of the vocal folds during animal Charles it worked perfectly. What were actually pretty happy with the by hotel away is right now we've done a lot of animal trials with Steve. And they've looked very good like it looks very safe now looks like it's working but the big next challenge system do human beings. And I think until we do the human beings we won't know. Whether there's tweaks that we have to maker things that we have to improve so really the next big test is this to the human clinical trials. And the team has some high profile support. Rock legend Roger -- -- has undergone surgery quite doctors -- tells and he can relate to the fear of becoming voiceless. Could tell you when I was. I'm not knowing what was coming home with this and wants to. Currently -- this operation. Not practicing again. It was terrifying. And who saw through that the postal point I had to be silent for two weeks and -- the impact of having polish community. The Who lead singer is not the only prominent artists supporting the study. Aerosmith Steven Tyler is also involved. Julie Andrews who lost her singing voice during surgery several years ago has also backed into a search. Lingering -- Tel save the bar hotel is in many ways similar to a musical instrument. They believe with further search they confined to the jail. -- single time watcher -- the ability to hit notes he hasn't been able to reach in decades that's not a the thing that duty to -- many I'm more interest in the prequel that cone speakers tool. And the people would really bad the effective policies with dignity but he -- -- -- wasn't have to take -- -- Where they will be -- to speak. And beyond astute person in the world. That's on interest in these debts. That's where -- you know the magnificent support strong -- These guys. Doctors -- tells us optimistic. He says there's every chance that millions of people who cannot speak today we'll have a voice in the near future. -- -- --