Abstract
A FUNCTIONAL INJECTABLE HYDROGEL FOR NUCLEUS PULPOSUS REGENERATION IN LAPINE INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DEFECT MODEL

Mir Mahmoud Mortazavi R.*, Suresh Babu S., Harikrishnan V.S. and Annie John

ABSTRACT

Nucleolus Pulposus (NP) of the Intervertebral disc (IVD) is the first tissue to initiate degeneration especailly from a younger age which eventually leads to low back pain. IVD degeneration happens due to unusual sitting, trauma, genetic inheritance and impaired nutrient exchange between nucleus pulposus and blood vessels. If the extracellular matrix of NP remains the same throughout life, the disc height will not collapse. In this study, alginate was selected as the material of choice to mimic the NP. Alginate hydrogel was made in different concentrations incorporating strontium and tested for the required compression strength to mimic the real NP which is always under constant pressure. The designed and fabricated Alg/Sr hydrogel was tested for cytotoxicity to depict the safety of the material and further tested in-vitro by mimicking an in vivo 3 dimensional structure incorporating cells which was ultimately injected in situ at the physically damaged NP site of the lumbar vertebrae (L3-L4/L5-L6) of New Zealand White rabbits in situ. This study showed that Alg/Sr Hydrogel is permissive and a promising hydrogel which can encapsulate cells for secreting extra cellular matrix (ECM) to restore the collapsed disc height to a certain extent to enable temporary relief of low back pain.

Keywords: Nucleus pulposus, Alginate/Strontium Hydrogel, Intervertebral Disc Lapine IVD model.


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