Biomaterials for intervertebral disc repair

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Each intervertebral disc (IVD) in the spine has an inner gel-like nucleus pulposus (NP) surrounded by an outer annulus fibrosus (AF). IVD degeneration has been linked to low back pain, a medical condition that affects millions of people and has significant socioeconomic consequences. The goal of this study was to assess the properties of different biomaterials to determine their utility in IVD repair strategies. Different compositions of gellan gum were investigated for NP repair. Through optimization of gellan gum properties, it was found that 2% (w/v) low acyl gellan gum had the best mechanical properties while having a suitable gelling temperature for cell encapsulation. When gellan gum, fibrin, and chitosan/gelatin/glycerol phosphate hydrogels were compared for sealing defects in the AF, it was found none could withstand pressures as high as intact IVDs. Therefore, a triphasic prototype construct composed of Kryptonite bone cement, gellan gum, and reinforcing fibre was evaluated to determine if it could contribute to AF repair. Whereas, it was found that constructs with sutures had better tensile properties than those with electrospun fibres, overall the current generation of constructs was not sufficient for AF repair. This thesis represents an important step in understanding the use of biomaterials for IVD repair.
Lee, H. (2012). Biomaterials for intervertebral disc repair (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/25130