Study of Nonlinear Viscoelastic Mechanical Properties of Degenerated Intervertebral Discs

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Ai-Guo Wang; Jun-Lu & Yun-Zhao


Biomechanical factors are important factors in inducing intervertebral disc degeneration, in this paper, the nonlinear viscoelastic mechanical properties of degenerated intervertebral discs were analyzed experimentally. Firstly, the loading and unloading curves of intervertebral discs before and after degeneration at different strain rates were compared to analyze the changes of their apparent viscoelastic mechanical properties; The internal stress/strain distribution of the disc before and after degeneration was then tested by combining digital image technology and fiber grating technology. The results show that the intervertebral disc is strain-rate- dependent whether before or after degeneration; The modulus of elasticity and peak stress of the degenerated disc are significantly reduced, with the modulus of elasticity dropping to 50 % of the normal value and the peak stress decreasing by about 55 %; Degeneration will not change the distribution of the overall internal displacement of the intervertebral disc, but has a greater impact on the superficial and middle AF; The stress in the center of the nucleus pulposus decreases, and the stress in the outer AF increases after degeneration. Degeneration has a great impact on the nonlinear viscoelastic mechanical properties of intervertebral disc, which has reference value for the mechanism, treatment and prevention of clinical degenerative diseases.

KEY WORDS: Degeneration; Nonlinear viscoelasticity; Strain-rate-dependent; Loading-unloading; Internal stress and strain.

How to cite this article

WANG, A. G.; LU, J. & ZHAO, Y. Study of nonlinear viscoelastic mechanical properties of degenerated intervertebral discs. Int. J. Morphol., 40(3):824-831, 2022.