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Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. 2014;17(9):1002-11. doi: 10.1080/10255842.2012.731688. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Nonlinear numerical analysis of the structural response of the intervertebral disc to impact loading.

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a Institute for Biomechanics , ETH Zurich, HPP-O14 Schafmattstrasse 30, 8093 Zurich , Switzerland.


The analysis of intervertebral disc dynamics under impact loading, using computational simulation, is scarcely reported. In this study, the contribution of the characteristic structure of the disc to its dynamic response has been evaluated. The influence of several model features on the dynamic response was investigated. A hyperelastic large deformation formulation was used to describe the nonlinear behaviour of the soft tissues. The material parameters were determined by the fitting of experimental data from the literature. The model demonstrated pressure wave propagation and reflection through the disc, with a periodic oscillation of the system in response to a single impulse load, and highlighted a potential primary role played by the collagen fibre reinforcement. Their tensioning contributes to changing the stress propagation and oscillation, with a faster reduction in the internal pressure peak. The natural frequency of the disc was predicted to be approximately 9.8 Hz for the vertical oscillation.

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