A new technique for the in vitro measurement of nucleus pulposus swelling pressure

M. G. Glover, A. R. Hargens, M. M. Mahmood, S. Gott, M. D. Brown, S. R. Garfin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Swelling of the intervertebral disc nucleus pulposus may be a contributing factor in lower back pain syndromes. We have designed and tested a new osmometer for in vitro determination of nucleus pulposus swelling pressure. The functional principle of the osmometer involves compressing a sample of nucleus pulposus with nitrogen gas until saline pressure gradients across a 0.45-μm Millipore filter are eliminated. Swelling pressures of both pooled dog and pooled pig lumbar disc nucleus pulposus were measured on the new osmometer and were compared with swelling pressures determined using the equilibrium dialysis technique. The osmometer measured swelling pressures comparable to those obtained by the dialysis technique. This osmometer provides a rapid, direct, and accurate measurement of swelling pressure of the nucleus pulposus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Intervertebral disc
  • Nucleus pulposus
  • Swelling pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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