Cartilaginous tissues such as the intervertebral disk are predominantly loaded under compression. Yet, they contain abundant collagen fibers, which are generally assumed to contribute to tensile loading only. Fiber tension is thought to originate from swelling of the proteoglycan-rich nucleus. However, in aged or degenerate disk, proteoglycans are depleted, whereas collagen content changes little. The question then rises to which extend the collagen may contribute to the compressive stiffness of the tissue. We hypothesized that this contribution is significant at high strain magnitudes and that the effect depends on fiber orientation. In addition, we aimed to determine the compression of the matrix. Bovine inner and outer annulus fibrosus specimens were subjected to incremental confined compression tests up to 60 % strain in radial and circumferential direction. The compressive aggregate modulus was determined per 10 % strain increment. The biochemical composition of the compressed specimens and uncompressed adjacent tissue was determined to compute solid matrix compression. The stiffness of all specimens increased nonlinearly with strain. The collagen-rich outer annulus was significantly stiffer than the inner annulus above 20 % compressive strain. Orientation influenced the modulus in the collagen-rich outer annulus. Finally, it was shown that the solid matrix was significantly compressed above 30 % strain. Therefore, we concluded that collagen fibers significantly contribute to the compressive stiffness of the intervertebral disk at high strains. This is valuable for understanding the compressive behavior of collagen-reinforced tissues in general, and may be particularly relevant for aging or degenerate disks, which become more fibrous and less hydrated.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS 2012), 4-7 February 2012, San Francisco, California|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||58th Annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS 2012) - |
Duration: 4 Feb 2012 → 7 Feb 2012
|Conference||58th Annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS 2012)|
|Period||4/02/12 → 7/02/12|
|Other||58th Annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS 2012)|