Image-based biomechanical assessment of vertebral body and intervertebral disc in the human lumbar spine

Maquer, Ghislain Bernard (2013). Image-based biomechanical assessment of vertebral body and intervertebral disc in the human lumbar spine. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Medicine, Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics)

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Life expectancy continuously increases but our society faces age-related conditions. Among musculoskeletal diseases, osteoporosis associated with risk of vertebral fracture and degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) are painful pathologies responsible for tremendous healthcare costs. Hence, reliable diagnostic tools are necessary to plan a treatment or follow up its efficacy. Yet, radiographic and MRI techniques, respectively clinical standards for evaluation of bone strength and IVD degeneration, are unspecific and not objective. Increasingly used in biomedical engineering, CT-based finite element (FE) models constitute the state-of-art for vertebral strength prediction. However, as non-invasive biomechanical evaluation and personalised FE models of the IVD are not available, rigid boundary conditions (BCs) are applied on the FE models to avoid uncertainties of disc degeneration that might bias the predictions. Moreover, considering the impact of low back pain, the biomechanical status of the IVD is needed as a criterion for early disc degeneration. Thus, the first FE study focuses on two rigid BCs applied on the vertebral bodies during compression test of cadaver vertebral bodies, vertebral sections and PMMA embedding. The second FE study highlights the large influence of the intervertebral disc’s compliance on the vertebral strength, damage distribution and its initiation. The third study introduces a new protocol for normalisation of the IVD stiffness in compression, torsion and bending using MRI-based data to account for its morphology. In the last study, a new criterion (Otsu threshold) for disc degeneration based on quantitative MRI data (axial T2 map) is proposed. The results show that vertebral strength and damage distribution computed with rigid BCs are identical. Yet, large discrepancies in strength and damage localisation were observed when the vertebral bodies were loaded via IVDs. The normalisation protocol attenuated the effect of geometry on the IVD stiffnesses without complete suppression. Finally, the Otsu threshold computed in the posterior part of annulus fibrosus was related to the disc biomechanics and meet objectivity and simplicity required for a clinical application. In conclusion, the stiffness normalisation protocol necessary for consistent IVD comparisons and the relation found between degeneration, mechanical response of the IVD and Otsu threshold lead the way for non-invasive evaluation biomechanical status of the IVD. As the FE prediction of vertebral strength is largely influenced by the IVD conditions, this data could also improve the future FE models of osteoporotic vertebra.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Maquer, Ghislain Bernard; Zysset, Philippe and Boesch, Christoph Hans

Subjects:

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

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ghislain Bernard Maquer

Date Deposited:

28 Jan 2015 10:44

Last Modified:

03 Feb 2016 21:24

URN:

urn:nbn:ch:bel-bes-977 urn

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.61661

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/61661

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