Understanding the Response of Intervertebral Disc under Complex Loading
The TOM group has ongoing research activities in various areas related to the spine. The study of disc metabolism, cell viability, cell apoptosis, disc degeneration and disc regeneration is a principal focus. Our first concepts for mechanical and biological disc repair strategies promoting guided tissue growth onto and into engineered scaffolds have been evaluated in the laboratory. Knowledge gained in these preliminary studies will be consolidated into future treatment methods for clinical application.
The physiological integrity of the intervertebral disc is substantially determined by the supply of nutrients and the removal of metabolic waste products from the tissue. With our current animal model using bovine coccygeal intervertebral discs we have a very close-to-the-human system to study complex loading, biomaterial cyto-and mechanobiological properties of novel developed "smart" hydrogels.