Dysphagia pp 493-506 | Cite as

Rheological Aspects of Swallowing and Dysphagia

  • Edmundo Brito-de la Fuente
  • Olle Ekberg
  • Críspulo Gallegos
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Dysphagia is a combination of symptoms affecting a person’s ability to swallow. On the other hand, swallowing is about transferring of liquids and boluses from the mouth into the stomach. Boluses may have several solid-like consistencies and drinks may have different viscosities. Because rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter; the connection between swallowing and rheology and thus dysphagia is clear. This rheology science helps to better understand how a bolus is deformed and thus flowing during the swallowing process. Knowledge of the deformability and flow of a bolus is important to better understand dysphagia, or swallowing impairment. This chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 gives a short description of the material functions or rheological properties. Rheological data of products used for dysphagia are used as examples. Section 3 focuses on the rheological aspects of oral processing and bolus transportation. This is followed by a practical example on how to design new products for the nutritional management of dysphagic patients. The chapter ends with some concluding remarks.


Shear Rate Rheological Property Apparent Viscosity Relaxation Modulus Barium Sulfate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmundo Brito-de la Fuente
    • 1
  • Olle Ekberg
    • 2
  • Críspulo Gallegos
    • 3
  1. 1.Innovation and Development Centre Clinical Nutrition and Pharmaceuticals, Science Production and TechnologyFresenius Kabi Deutschland GmbHOberurselGermany
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Sciences/Medical Radiology, Shane University HospitalLund UniversityMalmöSweden
  3. 3.Departamento de Ingeniería QuímicaUniversidad de HuelvaHuelvaSpain

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