Duration-dependent influence of dynamic torsion on the intervertebral disc: an intact disc organ culture study.

Chan, Samantha C W; Walser, Jochen; Ferguson, Stephen J; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2015). Duration-dependent influence of dynamic torsion on the intervertebral disc: an intact disc organ culture study. European spine journal, 24(11), pp. 2402-2410. Springer 10.1007/s00586-015-4140-6

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PURPOSE Mechanical loading is an important parameter that alters the homeostasis of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Studies have demonstrated the role of compression in altering the cellular metabolism, anabolic and catabolic events of the disc, but little is known how complex loading such as torsion-compression affects the IVD cell metabolism and matrix homeostasis. Studying how the duration of torsion affects disc matrix turnover could provide guidelines to prevent overuse injury to the disc and suggest possible beneficial effect of torsion. The aim of the study was to evaluate the biological response of the IVD to different durations of torsional loading. METHODS Intact bovine caudal IVD were isolated for organ culture in a bioreactor. Different daily durations of torsion were applied over 7 days at a physiological magnitude (±2°) in combination with 0.2 MPa compression, at a frequency of 1 Hz. RESULTS Nucleus pulpous (NP) cell viability and total disc volume decreased with 8 h of torsion-compression per day. Gene expression analysis suggested a down-regulated MMP13 with increased time of torsion. 1 and 4 h per day torsion-compression tended to increase the glycosaminoglycans/hydroxyproline ratio in the NP tissue group. CONCLUSIONS Our result suggests that load duration thresholds exist in both torsion and compression with an optimal load duration capable of promoting matrix synthesis and overloading can be harmful to disc cells. Future research is required to evaluate the specific mechanisms for these observed effects.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Gantenbein, Benjamin


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








Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2015 11:24

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2015 11:24

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Bioreactor; Complex loading; Dynamic loading; Intervertebral disc; Organ culture; Torsion





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