4 years ago

The effects of needle damage on annulus fibrosus micromechanics

The effects of needle damage on annulus fibrosus micromechanics
Needle puncture of the intervertebral disc can initiate a mechanical and biochemical cascade leading to disc degeneration. Puncture’s mechanical effects have been shown near the puncture site, mechanical effects should be observed far, relative to needle size, from the puncture site, given the disc-wide damage induced by the stab. The aim of this work was to quantify these far-field effects, and to observe the local structural damage provoked by the needle. Strips of cow tail annulus fibrosus underwent two consecutive mechanical loadings to 5% tensile strain; fifteen samples were punctured in a radial direction with a randomly assigned needle between the two loadings (needle gauges between 19 and 23). Ten samples (control group) were not punctured. During loading, the tissue strains were imaged using second harmonic generation microscopy in a <600x800µm region about 4.4mm from the puncture site. After mechanical testing, the puncture site was imaged in 3D. Puncture had no significant effect on annulus elastic modulus. Imaging showed a modest change in the shearing between fibre bundles however, the linear strain between bundles, intra-bundle shear and linear strain were not significantly affected. At the puncture site, detached lumps of tissue were present. These results suggest that the mechanical effects observed in intact discs are due to the depressurization of the disc, rather than the local damage to the annulus. Needle profiles could be designed, aiming at separating fibre bundles rather than cutting through them, to avoid leaving dying tissue behind. Statement of significance Needle puncture of the intervertebral disc can initiate a mechanical and biochemical cascade leading to disc degeneration, but the link between the local damage of the puncture and the disc-wide effects is not well understood. This work aimed at determining the micro–mechanical effects of the puncture far from its site, and to observe the damage induced by the puncture with high resolution imaging. Results show that the puncture had modest effect far from the puncture, but lumps of tissue were left by the needle, detached from the disc; these could cause further damage through friction and inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This suggests that the cascade leading to degeneration is probably driven by a biochemical response rather than disc-wide mechanical effects.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117305780

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