Minimally invasive photopolymerization in intervertebral disc tissue cavities

Schmocker, Andreas M.; Khoushabi, Azadeh; Gantenbein, Benjamin; Chan, Samantha; Bonel, Harald Marcel; Bourban, Pierre-Etienne; Månson, Jan Anders; Schizas, Constantin; Pioletti, Dominique; Moser, Christophe (4 March 2014). Minimally invasive photopolymerization in intervertebral disc tissue cavities. Proceedings of SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering, 8952, p. 895206. SPIE 10.1117/12.2036360

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Photopolymerized hydrogels are commonly used for a broad range of biomedical applications. As long as the polymer volume is accessible, gels can easily be hardened using light illumination. However, in clinics, especially for minimally invasive surgery, it becomes highly challenging to control photopolymerization. The ratios between polymerization- volume and radiating-surface-area are several orders of magnitude higher than for ex-vivo settings. Also tissue scattering occurs and influences the reaction.
We developed a Monte Carlo model for photopolymerization, which takes into account the solid/liquid phase changes, moving solid/liquid-boundaries and refraction on these boundaries as well as tissue scattering in arbitrarily designable tissue cavities. The model provides a tool to tailor both the light probe and the scattering/absorption properties of the photopolymer for applications such as medical implants or tissue replacements. Based on the simulations, we have previously shown that by adding scattering additives to the liquid monomer, the photopolymerized volume was considerably increased.
In this study, we have used bovine intervertebral disc cavities, as a model for spinal degeneration, to study photopolymerization in-vitro. The cavity is created by enzyme digestion. Using a custom designed probe, hydrogels were injected and photopolymerized. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and visual inspection tools were employed to investigate the successful photopolymerization outcomes.
The results provide insights for the development of novel endoscopic light-scattering polymerization probes paving the way for a new generation of implantable hydrogels.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Gantenbein, Benjamin, Bonel, Harald Marcel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

17 Dec 2014 12:11

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:38

Publisher DOI:





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