Evaluation of HA-fibrin-based hydrogel for restoration of degenerated intervertebral disc

Tekari, Adel; Frauchiger, Daniela Angelika; Benneker, Lorin Michael; Yayon, Avner; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2 May 2015). Evaluation of HA-fibrin-based hydrogel for restoration of degenerated intervertebral disc (Unpublished). In: Engineering Sciences for Biology and Medicine.

Introduction: Intervertebral disc degeneration is associated with loss of nucleus pulposus (NP) tissue and reduced disc height[1]. A number of therapies, including synthetic and natural biomaterials, have been developed to restore full disc function and to minimize the pain and disability caused by this disease. Fibrin-based biomaterials are used as a replacement for NP or as a cell carrier for tissue engineering approaches[2]. While the behavior of such gels is well-characterized from a material point of view, little is known about their contribution to intervertebral disc (IVD) restoration under dynamic loads.
The aim of the present study is the evaluation of a hyaluronic acid fibrin-based hydrogel (ProCore) used to repair an in vitro model of disc degeneration under dynamic loading.
Methods: In vitro model of disc degeneration was induced in intact coccygeal bovine IVD by papain digestion of the NP as previously described[3]. In order to characterize fibrin hydrogels, four experimental groups were considered: 1) intact IVD (control), 2) IVD injected with PBS, 3) injection of hydrogels in degenerative IVD and 4) injection of hydrogels in combination with human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in degenerative IVD. All of the groups were subjected to dynamic loading protocols consisting of 0.2MPa static compression superimposed with ±2° torsion at 0.2Hz for 8h per day and maintained for 7 days. Additionally, one group consisted of degenerative IVD injected with hydrogel and subjected to static compression. Disc heights were monitored after the duration of the loading and compared to the initial disc height. The macrostructure of the formed tissue and the cellular distribution was evaluated by histological means.
Results: After one week of loading, the degenerative IVD filled with hydrogel in combination with MSC (dynamic load), hydrogels (dynamic load) and hydrogels (static load) showed a reduction in height by 30%, 15% and 20%, respectively, as compared to their initial disc height. Histological sections showed that the HA-fibrin gel fully occupied the nucleotomized region of the disc and that fibrin was effective in filling the discontinuities of the cavity region. Furthermore, the cells were homogenously distributed along the fibrin hydrogels after 7 days of loading.
Discussion: In this study, we showed that fibrin hydrogels showed a good integration within the papain-induced model of disc degeneration and can withstand the applied loads. Fibrin hydrogels can contribute to disc restoration by possibly maintaining adequate stiffness of the tissue and thus preventing disorganization of the surrounding IVD.
1. Jarman, J.P., Arpinar, V.E., Baruah, D., Klein, A.P., Maiman, D.J., and Tugan Muftuler, L. (2014). Intervertebral disc height loss demonstrates the threshold of major pathological changes during degeneration. Eur Spine J .
2. Colombini, A., Ceriani, C., Banfi, G., Brayda-Bruno, M., and Moretti, M. (2014). Fibrin in intervertebral disc tissue engineering. Tissue Eng Part B Rev .
3. Chan, S.C., Bürki, A., Bonél, H.M., Benneker, L.M., and Gantenbein-Ritter, B. (2013). Papain-induced in vitro disc degeneration model for the study of injectable nucleus pulposus therapy. Spine J 13, 273-283.
We thank the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF #310030_153411 for funding.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Tekari, Adel, Frauchiger, Daniela Angelika, Benneker, Lorin Michael, Gantenbein, Benjamin


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




Adel Tekari

Date Deposited:

26 Jan 2016 17:08

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51



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