Optimization of mounting methods for tension-compression testing of murine intervertebral disc joints
Intervertebral disc degeneration is a broad diagnosis, characterized by tissue damage through age-related wear-and-tear that often causes pain, limits mobility, and negatively impacts a patient’s overall quality of life. Since the primary function of the disc is to withstand large complex loads during daily activities, mechanical properties are a popular metric for assessing changes with degeneration.
Mice are a commonly used animal model for studying the progression or regeneration of disc disease and damage, because they can be genetically manipulated, and their discs are biochemically and mechanically similar to human discs. However, due to their small size and, therefore, high sensitivity to changes in position and environment, assessing material properties of mouse discs can be challenging. In the literature, current methods of testing murine discs require expensive custom jigs or are not described well enough to replicate the methods used, making it difficult and expensive to conduct these tests.
The SAM Box V3 is a new mounting method for murine lumbar disc joints that is easy to use, open-source, inexpensive, and mimics physiological conditions. This method maintains physiologic alignment and hydration all while only costing about $1 in PLA per sample to use.
This project is led by Joanna Veres. If you are interested in incorporating this design into your own study, please contact Joanna Veres (joannaveres at berkeley dot edu).