An adaptive computational mechanobiological model of biologically active compounds in the degenerated intervertebral disc
Low back pain is a widespread problem in western countries affecting 60 to 90% of the population, often related to intervertebral disc degeneration. The objective of this project is to develop an adaptive computational model of a spinal motion segment, including mechanobiological processes occurring in the disc. On one hand, the disc extracellular matrix composition and biophysical properties will determine the overall spinal mechanical behaviour. On the other hand, the local mechanical environment will influence directly the cell activities (proliferation, necrosis, differentiation, matrix synthesis and degradation) through mechanoregulation processes. Additionally, the influence of nutrients (glucose and oxygen) deprivation and metabolites (lactate) accumulation due to ossification of the cartilage endplates will affect the disc cell viability.
This model could enable us to understand the disc degeneration aetiology, from the cell level to lumbar spine level. In addition, it could be used as a predictive tool for regenerative therapies.