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Biomechanical test protocols to detect minor injury effects in intervertebral discs


Torre, Olivia M; Evashwick-Rogler, Thomas W; Nasser, Phillip; Iatridis, James C (2019). Biomechanical test protocols to detect minor injury effects in intervertebral discs. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 95:13-20.

Abstract

Intervertebral discs (IVDs) maintain flexibility of the spine and bear mechanical load. Annulus fibrosus (AF) defects are associated with IVD degeneration and herniation which disrupt biomechanical function and can cause pain. AF puncture injuries can induce IVD degeneration but are needed to inject therapies. Identifying small AF defects with biomechanical testing can be difficult because IVDs have a complex, composite structure and nonlinear biomechanical properties that are dependent on AF fiber tension. It remains unclear how choice of biomechanical testing protocols affect the sensitivity of biomechanical properties to AF injuries. This study determined whether axial preload or magnitude of cyclic axial or torsional testing affected the ability to detect minor AF defects in rat caudal motion segments using ex vivo biomechanical testing. Intact and injured motion segments were subjected to a repeated measures study design with multiple biomechanical testing protocols that varied axial tension-compression force amplitude (±1.6 N, ±8.0 N, ±16.0 N), axial preload (-1.6 N, -8.0 N, -16.0 N, corresponding to -0.1 MPa, -0.5 MPa, and -1.0 MPa, respectively), and torsional rotation angle (±10°, ±15°, and ±20°). Biomechanical properties obtained from the lowest force testing conditions for axial tension-compression (±1.6 N), axial preload (-1.6 N), and angular rotation (±10°) exhibited the largest differences in biomechanical properties between intact and injured conditions. Biomechanical properties determined under low axial force or torsion amplitudes involve less AF fiber tension and were most sensitive to injury. Low force testing protocols are recommended for detecting minor structural AF defects and may enable more precise assessments of IVD injuries, healing or repair.

Abstract

Intervertebral discs (IVDs) maintain flexibility of the spine and bear mechanical load. Annulus fibrosus (AF) defects are associated with IVD degeneration and herniation which disrupt biomechanical function and can cause pain. AF puncture injuries can induce IVD degeneration but are needed to inject therapies. Identifying small AF defects with biomechanical testing can be difficult because IVDs have a complex, composite structure and nonlinear biomechanical properties that are dependent on AF fiber tension. It remains unclear how choice of biomechanical testing protocols affect the sensitivity of biomechanical properties to AF injuries. This study determined whether axial preload or magnitude of cyclic axial or torsional testing affected the ability to detect minor AF defects in rat caudal motion segments using ex vivo biomechanical testing. Intact and injured motion segments were subjected to a repeated measures study design with multiple biomechanical testing protocols that varied axial tension-compression force amplitude (±1.6 N, ±8.0 N, ±16.0 N), axial preload (-1.6 N, -8.0 N, -16.0 N, corresponding to -0.1 MPa, -0.5 MPa, and -1.0 MPa, respectively), and torsional rotation angle (±10°, ±15°, and ±20°). Biomechanical properties obtained from the lowest force testing conditions for axial tension-compression (±1.6 N), axial preload (-1.6 N), and angular rotation (±10°) exhibited the largest differences in biomechanical properties between intact and injured conditions. Biomechanical properties determined under low axial force or torsion amplitudes involve less AF fiber tension and were most sensitive to injury. Low force testing protocols are recommended for detecting minor structural AF defects and may enable more precise assessments of IVD injuries, healing or repair.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Biomaterials
Physical Sciences > Biomedical Engineering
Physical Sciences > Mechanics of Materials
Language:English
Date:July 2019
Deposited On:10 Jan 2020 14:33
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1751-6161
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.03.024
PubMed ID:30947120

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