Quantitative analysis of exogenous IGF-1 administration of intervertebral disc through intradiscal injection

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18 Scopus citations


Exogenous administration of IGF-1 has been proposed as a therapy for disc degeneration. The objectives of this study were to develop a numerical model for quantitatively analysing exogenous administration of IGF-1 into the intervertebral disc (IVD) via intradiscal injection and to investigate the effects of IGF-1 administration on distribution of glucose and oxygen in the IVD. In this study, the reversible binding reaction between IGF-1 and IGF binding proteins was incorporated into the mechano-electrochemical mixture model. The model was used to numerically analyse transport of IGF-1, glucose, oxygen and lactate in the IVD after IGF-1 administration. The enhancement of IGF-1 on lactate production was also taken into account in the theoretical model. The numerical analyses using finite element method demonstrated that the binding reactions significantly affect the time-dependent distribution of IGF-1 in the IVD. It was found that the region affected by IGF-1 was smaller and the duration of the therapeutic IGF-1 level was longer in the degenerated disc with a higher concentration of IGF binding proteins. It was also found that the IGF-1 injection can reduce glucose concentration and increase lactate accumulation (i.e., lower pH) in the IVD and these influences were regulated by the IGF-1 binding reactions. This study indicated the complexity of intradiscal administration of growth factors, which needs to be fully analysed in order to achieve a successful outcome. The new theoretical model developed in this study can serve as a powerful tool in analysing and designing the optimal treatments of growth factors for disc degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1155
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 30 2012


  • Disc degeneration
  • Growth factor therapy
  • IGF-1
  • Intervertebral disc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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