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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 5283846, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Electrospun Nanofiber-Anchored Silicone for the Degenerative Intervertebral Disc

Department of Engineering and Physics, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK 73034, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to M. Khandaker; ude.ocu@rekadnahkm

Received 1 July 2017; Accepted 28 August 2017; Published 18 October 2017

Academic Editor: Faik N. Oktar

Copyright © 2017 M. Khandaker and S. Riahanizad. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The nucleus pulposus (NP) substitution by polymeric gel is one of the promising techniques for the repair of the degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD). Silicone gel is one of the potential candidates for a NP replacement material. Electrospun fiber anchorage to silicone disc, referred as ENAS disc, may not only improve the biomechanical performances of the gel but it can also improve restoration capability of the gel, which is unknown. This study successfully produced a novel process to anchor any size and shape of NP gel with electrospun fiber mesh. Viscoelastic properties of silicone and ENAS disc were measured using standard experimental techniques and compared with the native tissue properties. Ex vivo mechanical tests were conducted on ENAS disc-implanted rabbit tails to the compare the mechanical stability between intact and ENAS implanted spines. This study found that viscoelastic properties of ENAS disc are higher than silicone disc and comparable to the viscoelastic properties of human NP. The ex vivo studies found that the ENAS disc restore the mechanical functionality of rabbit tail spine, after discectomy of native NP and replacing the NP by ENAS disc. Therefore, the PCL ENF mesh anchoring technique to a NP implant can have clinical potential.