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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v22.i1.80
pages 73-84

Advances in Biomaterials for the Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Yakira Kirzner
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Michele Marcolongo
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Sujata K. Bhatia
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

ABSTRACT

In the past decade, the number of treatment methods for disc degeneration has dramatically increased due to advances in biomaterials. Disc degeneration is one of the leading causes of lower back pain in the adult population, and a large percentage of patients seek surgical solutions. Therefore, there is a great clinical need for biomaterials to alleviate pain associated with disc degeneration. Increased understanding of spinal physiology and pathophysiology has enabled the development of new surgical techniques as well as novel biomaterials for treatment. In this review, advances in biomaterials used for treating intervertebral disc degeneration are reviewed: cages and implants for spinal fusion, artificial discs for total disc arthroplasty, and emerging methods of synthetic nuclei and annulus repair. In addition, novel biomaterials are being explored to treat disc degeneration using a variety of treatment methods.