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The Roles of Elastic Fibres and Glycosaminoglycans in the Radial Tensile Mechanics of the Human Lumbar Anulus Fibrosus

[+] Author Affiliations
Lachlan J. Smith, Nicola L. Fazzalari

Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science and Hanson Institute, Adelaide, AustraliaUniversity of Adelaide, Australia

Sharon Byers

Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service, Adelaide, AustraliaUniversity of Adelaide, Australia

John J. Costi

Repatriation General Hospital and Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Paper No. SBC2007-175954, pp. 875-876; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The anulus fibrosus of the human lumbar disc has a complex, hierarchical structure comprised of collagen, proteoglycan and elastic fibres [1,2]. Individually and through interactions, these constituents govern the complex, anisotropic mechanical reponse of the anulus; the exact nature of their contributions, however, remains unclear [3]. In the radial direction, mechanical behaviour is heterogeneous, varies with degenerative condition, and is thought to be governed largely by the matrix at lamellar interfaces [4,5]. The objectives of this study were to quantify the contributions made by both elastic fibres and glycosaminoglycans to the radial tensile reponse of the human lumbar anulus, using a combination of targeted enzymatic degradation and biomechanical testing.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Fibers



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