Master of Science (MSc)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Diane Gregory
Dr. Stephanie DeWitte-Orr
Animal models are frequently used in place of human specimens to study the progression of injury and/or disease of the intervertebral disc (IVD). This project aimed to compare the geometry, hydration, histology, and mechanical properties of selected animal models: bovine (cow) tail, porcine (pig) lumbar, and ovine (sheep) lumbar IVDs. X-ray images were taken and used to determine the anterior, posterior, and lateral IVD and vertebral heights in order to calculate IVD: vertebral height ratios. Water content was determined by comparing IVD weight before (wet weight) and after (dry weight) 24 hours of incubation at 65°C. Mechanical properties of the intralamellar region of the annulus fibrosus of the IVD were tested by pulling single layer samples perpendicularly to their collagen fibre orientation (Biotester 5000, Cellscale, Waterloo, ON). Each species displayed a unique IVD: vertebral height ratio (p< 0.001), and no significant differences were found in water content (p= 0.22). Overall, the mechanical properties of the bovine and ovine differed the most from one another, and the porcine was the most intermediate. The ovine had the highest concentration of cells and the bovine had the lowest; the porcine had a slightly lower concentration than ovine. Differences amongst models suggest that one single model may be most appropriate to represent human IVDs depending on the application.
Monaco, Lauren A., "Comparative Analysis of Selected Model Species used in Intervertebral Disc Research" (2014). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1681.