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Title: An Artificial Disc: Chemical and Biomechanical Analysis
Authors: D., Mercuri
Leone, Gemma 
Barbucci, Rolando
R., Favaloro
A., Facchini
F., Signori
S., Bronco
F., Ciardelli
Keywords: annulus fibrosus; guar gum; hydrogel; intervertebral disc degeneration; nucleus polposus
Issue Date: 2008
Project: None 
Degeneration of intervertebral discs is the most common cause of back pain. The first phase of this degenerative process involves the nucleus pulposus. A rapid recovery of this structure can prevent further degradation of the annulus fibrosus. Guar Gum is an hydrophilic polysaccharide extracted from the seed endosperm of a plant. Through a cross linking procedure a Guar hydrogel was synthesized. The Guar hydrogel could be injected by a syringe and it is a good candidate as a nucleus pulposus substitute. For the preparation of the artificial fibrosus annulus, commercially available polymer materials are tuned to achieve suitable mechanical properties. To achieve this peculiar behaviour, the main strategy investigated is the dispersion of hollow polymer micro spheres in a thermoplastic polymer matrix. Processing conditions and particle content are finely tuned to get the target mechanical behaviour.
ISSN: 1022-1360
DOI: 10.1002/masy.200850614
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