Since the intervertebral disc (IVD) is the largest avascular cartilaginous structure in the human body, poor nutrient supply has been suggested as a potential mechanism for disc degeneration. The previous theoretical studies have shown that the distributions of nutrients and metabolites (e.g., oxygen, glucose, and lactate) within the IVD depended on tissue diffusivities, nutrient supply, cellular metabolic rates, and coupling effects between nutrient and metabolite [1,2]. Our recent theoretical study suggested that dynamic compression can promote transport of neutral solute in the anisotropic cartilaginous tissue by enhancing both diffusive and convective solute fluxes [3]. However, the effect of compression on distributions of nutrients and metabolites in the IVD has not been studied. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of compression on distributions of oxygen and lactate in the IVD under static and dynamic unconfined compression using a new formulation of the triphasic theory.

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