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Lamellar and fibre bundle mechanics of the annulus fibrosus in bovine intervertebral disc

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
107 10 2016 7 PDF Available
Title
Lamellar and fibre bundle mechanics of the annulus fibrosus in bovine intervertebral disc
Abstract

The intervertebral disc is a multicomposite structure, with an outer fibrous ring, the annulus fibrosus, retaining a gel-like core, the nucleus pulposus. The disc presents complex mechanical behaviour, and it is of high importance for spine biomechanics. Advances in multiscale modelling and disc repair raised a need for new quantitative data on the finest details of annulus fibrosus mechanics. In this work we explored inter-lamella and inter-bundle behaviour of the outer annulus using micromechanical testing and second harmonic generation microscopy. Twenty-one intervertebral discs were dissected from cow tails; the nucleus and inner annulus were excised to leave a ring of outer annulus, which was tested in circumferential loading while imaging the tissue’s collagen fibres network with sub-micron resolution. Custom software was developed to determine local tissue strains through image analysis. Inter-bundle linear and shear strains were 5.5 and 2.8 times higher than intra-bundle strains. Bundles tended to remain parallel while rotating under loading, with large slipping between them. Inter-lamella linear strain was almost 3 times the intra-lamella one, but no slipping was observed at the junction between lamellae. This study confirms that outer annulus straining is mainly due to bundles slipping and rotating. Further development of disc multiscale modelling and repair techniques should take into account this modular behaviour of the lamella, rather than considering it as a homogeneous fibre-reinforced matrix.Statement of SignificanceThe intervertebral disc is an organ tucked between each couple of vertebrae in the spine. It is composed by an outer fibrous layer retaining a gel-like core. This organ undergoes severe and repeated loading during everyday life activities, since it is the compliant component that gives the spine its flexibility. Its properties are affected by pathologies such as disc degeneration, a major cause of back pain. In this article we explored the micromechanical behaviour of the disc’s outer layer using second harmonic generation, a technique which allowed us to visualize, with unprecedented detail, how bundles of collagen fibres slide relative to each other when loaded. Our results will help further the development of new multiscale numerical models and repairing techniques.

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Keywords
Biomechanics; Intervertebral disc; Micromechanics; Second harmonic generation
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Lamellar and fibre bundle mechanics of the annulus fibrosus in bovine intervertebral disc
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 37, June 2016, Pages 14–20
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us