Author(s): Ayotte DC, Ito K, Perren SM, Tepic S
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Abstract We hypothesize that a direction-dependent flow resistance exists in the intervertebral disc due to constriction flow in the cartilage endplates. A comparison of the hydrostatic pressure in the nucleus of the healthy intervertebral disc during daily loading with the relatively low osmotic swelling pressure during rest, suggests the necessity of such direction-dependent flow resistance to ensure that all the fluid exuded from the disc during loading is recovered during rest. A physical model demonstrating the direction-dependent resistance of constriction flow in a poroelastic solid is presented. A finite element model was developed and validated against this physical model. The finite element model showed that decrease of the constriction hole area not only increases the resistance to fluid flow, but also causes the direction-dependency of flow resistance to decrease. Through this mechanism, endplate sclerosis could affect normal daily fluid exchange in the intervertebral disc, resulting in decreased mass transport and/or dehydration of the disc.
This article was published in J Biomech Eng
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering