On the biomechanical significance of inter-lamellar interfaces in the intervertebral disc

Adam, Clayton, Rouch, Philippe, & Skalli, Wafa (2015) On the biomechanical significance of inter-lamellar interfaces in the intervertebral disc. In Shrive, Nigel G. & Middleton, John (Eds.) Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 2015, 1-5 September 2015, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Unpublished)

PDF (86kB)


The intervertebral disc (IVD) is a unique soft tissue structure which provides structural support and flexibility in the axial skeleton of vertebrates. From a structural perspective, the disc behaves somewhat like a thick walled pressure vessel, where the walls are comprised of a series of composite annular rings (lamellae). However, a prior study (Marchand and Ahmed, 1990) found a high proportion of circumferentially discontinuous lamellae in human lumbar IVDs. The presence of these discontinuities raises important structural questions, because discontinuous lamellae cannot withstand high nucleus pressures via the generation of circumferential (hoop) stress. A possible alternative mechanism may be that inter-lamellar cohesion allows shear stress transfer between adjacent annular layers. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the importance of inter-lamellar shear resistance in the intervertebral disc. This work found that inter-lamellar shear resistance has a strong influence on the compressive stiffness of the intervertebral disc, with a change in interface condition from tied (no slip) to frictionless (no shear resistance) reducing disc compressive stiffness by 40%. However, it appears that substantial inter-lamellar shear resistance is present in the bovine tail disc. Decreases in inter-lamellar shear resistance due to degradation of bridging collagenous or elastic fibre structures could therefore be an important part of the process of disc degeneration.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

16 since deposited on 23 Sep 2015
7 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 87656
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: disc lamellae, intervertebral disc, inter-lamellar cohesion, inter-lamellar shear, compressive stiffness, disc stiffness, bovine, bovine disc, disc degeneration
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
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 2015 The Authors
Deposited On: 23 Sep 2015 03:09
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2015 18:38

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page