The effect of repeated loading and freeze-thaw cycling on immature bovine thoracic motion segment stiffness

Sunni, Nabeel, Askin, Geoffrey N., Labrom, Robert D., Izatt, Maree T., Pearcy, Mark J., & Adam, Clayton J. (2014) The effect of repeated loading and freeze-thaw cycling on immature bovine thoracic motion segment stiffness. Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Proceedings. Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 228(10), pp. 1100-1107.

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There is growing interest in the biomechanics of ‘fusionless’ implant constructs used for deformity correction in the thoracic spine, however, there are questions over the comparability of in vitro biomechanical studies from different research groups due to the various methods used for specimen preparation, testing and data collection. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of two key factors on the stiffness of immature bovine thoracic spine motion segments: (i) repeated cyclic loading and (ii) multiple freeze-thaw cycles, to aid in the planning and interpretation of in vitro studies. Two groups of thoracic spine motion segments from 6-8 week old calves were tested in flexion/extension, right/left lateral bending, and right/left axial rotation under moment control. Group (A) were tested with continuous repeated cyclic loading for 500 cycles with data recorded at cycles 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500. Group (B) were tested after each of five freeze-thaw sequences, with data collected from the 10th load cycle in each sequence. Group A: Flexion/extension stiffness reduced significantly over the 500 load cycles (-22%; P=0.001), but there was no significant change between the 5th and 200th load cycles. Lateral bending stiffness decreased significantly (-18%; P=0.009) over the 500 load cycles, but there was no significant change in axial rotation stiffness (P=0.137). Group B: There was no significant difference between mean stiffness over the five freeze-thaw sequences in flexion/extension (P=0.813) and a near significant reduction in mean stiffness in axial rotation (-6%; P=0.07). However, there was a statistically significant increase in stiffness in lateral bending (+30%; P=0.007). Comparison of in vitro testing results for immature thoracic bovine spine segments between studies can be performed with up to 200 load cycles without significant changes in stiffness. However, when testing protocols require greater than 200 cycles, or when repeated freeze-thaw cycles are involved, it is important to account for the effect of cumulative load and freeze-thaw cycles on spine segment stiffness.

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ID Code: 79537
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: bovine, in vitro biomechanical testing, calf, freeze-thaw cycle, cyclic loading, stiffness, thoracic spine
DOI: 10.1177/0954411914556789
ISSN: 2041-3033
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Deposited On: 18 Dec 2014 05:52
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 07:37

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