Design of next generation total disk replacements

P.R. Broek, van den, J.M.R.J. Huyghe, W. Wilson, K. Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


To improve the treatments for low back pain, new designs of total disk replacement have been proposed. The question is how well these designs can act as a functional replacement of the intervertebral disk. Four finite element models were made, for four different design concepts, to determine how well they can mimic the physiological intervertebral disk mechanical function. The four designs were a homogenous elastomer, a multi-stiffness elastomer, an elastomer with fiber jacket, and a hydrogel with fiber jacket. The best material properties of the four models were determined by optimizing the model behavior to match the behavior of the intervertebral disk in flexion-extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending. It was shown that neither a homogeneous elastomer nor a multi-stiffness elastomer could mimic the non-linear behavior within the physiological range of motion. Including a fiber jacket around an elastomer allowed for physiological motion in all degrees of freedom. Replacing the elastomer by a hydrogel yielded similar good behavior. Mimicking the non-linear behavior of the intervertebral disk, in the physiological range of motion is essential in maintaining and restoring spinal motion and in protecting surrounding tissues like the facet joints or adjacent segments. This was accomplished with designs mimicking the function of the annulus fibrosus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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