In Vivo Characterisation of a Novel Hydrophilic Composite for Total Intervertebral Disc Substitution


Article Preview

Intervertebral disc (IVD) damage due to degeneration, trauma or inflammation is the main cause for lower back pain leading to morbidity and loss of function of the spinal column. Until recently the state of the art treatment for degenerative disc disease (DDD) was arthrodesis. Developments in vertebral arthroplasty enable degenerated disc to be replaced with prosthetic IVD devices while maintaining motion at the affected part. The ability of the intervertebral device to support the in vivo loading environment is critical for the clinical success of such devices. However, such properties are depended on the location and structure of IVD, as the mechanical properties of IVD change locally [1]. The objective of this study was to evaluate the in vivo tissue compatibility of a novel composite, made with poly 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (pHEMA), poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) and poly ethylene terephthalate (PET) in an animal model. In vivo qualitative and quantitative results at 6 weeks post intraosseous implantation in rabbit femur revealed that this hydrogel, in contact with bone tissue, showed no tissue damage at the implant-bone interface. This novel composite disc prosthetic material is biocompatible as bone growth was observed into the implant and there was no evidence of toxicity to bone or inflammatory responses at the peri-implant tissue.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 284-286)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

Panjian Li, Kai Zhang and Clifford W. Colwell, Jr.




E. Damien et al., "In Vivo Characterisation of a Novel Hydrophilic Composite for Total Intervertebral Disc Substitution ", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 284-286, pp. 795-798, 2005

Online since:

April 2005




[1] F. Causa, L. Manto, A. Borzacchiello, R. De Santis, P.A. Netti, L. Ambrosio, L. Nicolais, Spatial and structural dependence of mechanical properties of porcine intervertebral disc,. Journal of Material Science: Materials in Medicine, 2002. 13, 1277-1280. ISSN: 0957-4530.


[2] S. Rodrigues, P. I. Granja and M. A. Barbosa: Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Biomaterials 2003, P127.

[3] E. Damien, K. Hing, S. Saeed and P. A. Revell: J Biomed Mater Res. 66: 241-246, (2003).

[4] J.J. Rosen and M.B. Schway: Kinetics of cell adhesion to a hydrophilic-hydrophobic copolymer model system. Polym Sci Technology12B (1980), pp.667-675.


[5] P. Nathan, E.J. Law, B.G. MacMillan, D.F. Murphy, S.H. Ronel, M.J. D'Andre, R.A. Abrahams: A new biomaterial for control of infection in the burn wounds. Trans Am Soc Artif Intern Organs. (1976), 22, pp.30-41.

[6] G.A. Hutcheon, C. Messiou, R.M. Wyre, M.C. Davies, S. Downs: Water absorption and surface properties of novel poly (ethylmethacrylate) polymer systems for use in bone and cartilage repair. Biomaterials (2001), 22(7) pp.667-76.


[7] J. Bruining, H. Blaauwgeers, R. Kuijer, E. Pels, R. Nuijts, L. Koole: Biodegradable threedimensional networks of poly(dimethylamino ethyl methacrylate). Synthesis, characterization and in vitro studies of structural degradation and cytotoxicity. Biomaterials (2000).


[8] P.A. Netti, J. Shelton, P.A. Revell, G. Pirie, S. Smith, L. Ambrosio, L. Nicolais, and W. Bonefield: Hydrogels as an interface between bone and implant. Biomaterials (1993), 14 (14), pp.1098-1104.


[9] X. Lou, S. Munro and S. Wang: Drug release characteristics of phase separation pHEMA sponge materials. Biomaterials (2004), 25 (20), pp.5071-5080.


[10] H. Mirzadeh, A.A. Katbab, M.T. Khorasani, R.P. Burford, E. Gorgin and A. Golstani: Cell attachment to laser-induced AAm and HEMA-grafted ethylene propylene rubber as biomaterial: in vivo study. Biomaterials (1995).