Biomedical Research

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Replacement of Intervertebral disc in Spine by Poly (ethylene glycol) - diacrylate (PEGDA) material through Stereolithography.

Cervical and lumbar disc replacements are being performed in the modern world with increasing frequency. The intervertebral discs are fibrocartilaginous cushions serving as the spine's shock absorbing system, which guard the vertebrae, brain, and other structures (i.e. nerves). The discs permit some vertebral motion: extension and flexion. Single disc movement is very limited – however considerable motion is possible when several discs combine forces. Important variables for the function and longevity of such disc anthroplasty implants are clearly defined by the material properties of the components used for their production. Polyethylene (glycol) diacrylate-based hydrogels are powerful tools for uncovering basic cellular biology because they are considered biologically inert (“blank slate”) and their mechanical properties can be varied over a large series of moduli. In addition to, PEGDA hydrogels is an emergent scaffold for tissue engineering and Regenerative Medicine since polymerization can occur rapidly at room temperature and requires low exertion input, has high water contented, is flexible, and can be modified to include a variety of biological molecules. PEGDA hydrogels are easily customizable since ECM proteins and/or growth factors can be incorporated into a hydrogel and its elasticity can be modulated from 10- 100 kPa. The complex form of an intervertebral disc can be made with the help of rapid prototyping to serve as a medium in the spine. Stereolithography was chosen to construct the disc with desired quality and dimensions.

Author(s): Jaiganesh V, Dhileep Kumar J, Girija Devi J