Biologic Annulus Fibrosus Repair: A Review of Preclinical In Vivo Investigations.

TitleBiologic Annulus Fibrosus Repair: A Review of Preclinical In Vivo Investigations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSloan SR, Lintz M, Hussain I, Härtl R, Bonassar LJ
JournalTissue Eng Part B Rev
Date Published2018 06
KeywordsAnimals, Annulus Fibrosus, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Implants, Experimental, Intervertebral Disc Degeneration, Intervertebral Disc Displacement, Low Back Pain

Lower back pain, the leading cause of workplace absences and disability, is often attributed to intervertebral disc degeneration, in which nucleus pulposus (NP) herniates through lesions in the annulus fibrosus (AF) and impinges on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Surgeons remove extruded NP via discectomy when indicated by local/radicular pain supported by radiographic evidence; however, current interventions do not alter the underlying disease or seal the AF. The reported rates of recurrent herniation or pain following discectomy cases range from 5% to 25%, which has pushed spine research in recent years toward annular repair and closure strategies. Synthetic implants designed to mechanically seal the AF have been subject to large animal and clinical trials, with limited success in preventing recurrent herniation. Like gold standard interventions, purely mechanical devices fail to promote tissue integration, long-term healing, or restore native biomechanical function to the spine. Biological repair strategies utilizing principles of tissue engineering have demonstrated success in overcoming the inadequacies of current interventions and mechanical implants, yet, none has reached clinical or proof-of-concept trials in humans. In this review, we will discuss annular repair strategies promoting biological healing that have been implemented in small and large animal models in vivo, and ways to enhance the efficacy of these treatments.

Alternate JournalTissue Eng Part B Rev
PubMed ID29105592