Effects of mechanical compression on metabolism and distribution of oxygen and lactate in intervertebral disc

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80 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of mechanical compression on metabolism and distributions of oxygen and lactate in the intervertebral disc (IVD) using a new formulation of the triphasic theory. In this study, the cellular metabolic rates of oxygen and lactate were incorporated into the newly developed formulation of the mechano-electrochemical mixture model [Huang, C.-Y., Gu, W.Y., 2007. Effect of tension-compression nonlinearity on solute transport in charged hydrated fibrosus tissues under dynamic unconfined compression. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 129, 423-429]. The model was used to numerically analyze metabolism and transport of oxygen and lactate in the IVD under static or dynamic compression. The theoretical analyses demonstrated that compressive loading could affect transport and metabolism of nutrients. Dynamic compression increased oxygen concentration, reduced lactate accumulation, and promoted oxygen consumption and lactate production (i.e., energy conversion) within the IVD. Such effects of dynamic loading were dependent on strain level and loading frequency, and more pronounced in the IVD with less permeable endplate. In contrast, static compression exhibited inverse effects on transport and metabolism of oxygen and lactate. The theoretical predictions in this study are in good agreement with those in the literature. This study established a new theoretical model for analyzing cellular metabolism of nutrients in hydrated, fibrous soft tissues under mechanical compression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1196
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • Computational biomechanics
  • Finite element method
  • Glucose
  • Mixture theory
  • Soft tissue mechanics
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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