Mechanical testing of the intervertebral disc (IVD) in its joint space allows us to better understand how biological changes affect joint level biomechanics. Using a spinal motion segment, which includes an IVD and its adjacent vertebrae, we can test the whole disc in torsion, compression, or creep. From the data obtained, we can make inferences about the disc’s ability to sustain or recover from different loads.
Work from our lab has focused on the dependence of intervertebral disc recovery behavior on both osmotic pressure (Beczi et al, 2018) and applied stress (Beczi et al, 2020), as well as the effects axial compression and rotation angle on IVD mechanics (Beczi et al, 2018). Furthermore, we have explored the effects of hydration on joint stiffness (Beczi et al, 2017). More recently, we have collaborated with other labs to assess the repeatability of mechanical testing methods at the joint level (Newell et al, 2018).
If you are interested in the most recent IVD joint-level research updates, please feel free to contact Shiyin Lim (shiyin_lim at berkeley dot edu)