Geometrical & Interfacial Modulation of a Biomimetic Spinal Implant
The nucleus of a spinal disc is seamlessly connective and protectively supportive of the joint within which it is enveloped. A range of nucleus prosthesis configurations have been proposed and applied with some success. Those that have demonstrated clinical efficacy have approximated physiological form and function using established biomaterials while preserving key anatomical structures. The minimally invasive biostable, biomimetic Columna Disc Device (CDD) partial spinal disc replacement has been developed to clinical trial stage. It mimics the geometry and response of the nucleus that it replaces. While the implant configuration and materials have been set, the geometry and interfacial properties of this prosthesis may be modulated to account for versatility in surgical deployment, implant stiffness, and subsequent long-term tissue remodelling response. FEA models were developed to study effects of implant jacket geometry and surface properties on implant deployment and biomechanics. Studded and dimpled textures provide a method for increasing surface area to diffuse jacket-filler interfacial stress and similar for the implant-tissue junction. Surface texture design elements observed in nature can protect against delamination and interlayer slippage. This is the case with adherent outer layers of human skin. A textured implant design is also proposed to guard against third body wear by housing debris remote of wear sites and by reducing sliding. The periodically varying strain fields provided by the textured jacket may also help mitigate for tears by diverting and arresting micro-fissures. Increasing friction at the implant-tissue interface to the point of tissue-attachment was shown to increase the stiffness of the implant in axial-loading. In contrast, increasing bulk surface area is expected to contribute to a decrease in implant stiffness. This is, however, dependent on the intimacy and properties of interfacing tissues.
P. Lok et al., "Geometrical & Interfacial Modulation of a Biomimetic Spinal Implant", Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Vol. 4, pp. 41-58, 2009