Disc-Fluid-Flow Analyses

Univ.-Prof. biol. hum. Hendrik Schmidt

Learn more about our disc-fluid-flow analyses.

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Loading-unloading conditions expected in regular daily activities

Strategies for the biological repair of intervertebral discs derive from the premise that disc degeneration results from impaired cellular activity and, therefore, that these structures can be induced to regenerate by implanting active cells or providing factors that restore normal cellular activity. Although in vitro organ culture studies have had some success, most studies showed a significantly decrease in cell viability with culture duration. The decrease in cell viability may be associated with a hampered fluid inflow through the endplates in vitro. 

In vivo during the day, intervertebral discs are loaded mainly in compression causing fluid and height losses that are subsequently fully recovered overnight due to fluid inflow under smaller compression. However, in vitro, fluid flow through the endplates, in particular fluid imbibition, is hampered possibly by blood clots formed post mortem. Despite earlier in vitro studies, it remains yet unclear if and how fluid flow conditions in vitro could properly emulate those in vivo.

The objective of this research field is to investigate the fluid flow dependent mechanisms in intervertebral discs under transient loading-unloading conditions expected in regular daily activities.


What have we learned from finite element model studies of lumbar intervertebral discs in the past four decades?

Hendrik Schmidt, Fabio Galbusera, Antonius Rohlmann, Aboulfazl Shirazi-Adl
Journal of Biomechanics 2013; 46(14).
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Finite element study of human lumbar disc nucleus replacements
Hendrik Schmidt, Maxim Bashkuev, Fabio Galbusera, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Aboulfazl Shirazi-Adl
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 2013; 17(16).
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Is the ovine intervertebral disc a small human one? A finite element model study

Hendrik Schmidt, Sandra Reitmaier
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2012.
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Hydrogels for nucleus replacement-Facing the biomechanical challenge
Sandra Reitmaier, Uwe Wolfram, Anita Ignatius, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Antonio Gloria, José M Martín-Martínez, Joana Silva-Correia, Joaquim Miguel Oliveira, Rui Luis Reis, Hendrik Schmidt
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2012; 14:67-77.
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In vitro and in silico investigations of disc nucleus replacement
Sandra Reitmaier, Aboulfazl Shirazi-Adl, Maxim Bashkuev, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Antonio Gloria, Hendrik Schmidt
Journal of The Royal Society Interface 2012; 9(73):1869-79.
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Barbara Schiller

Secretariat Prof. Hendrik Schmidt