Range of Motion Testing of a Novel 3D-Printed Synthetic Spine Model.
Study Design: Biomechanical model study.
Objective: The Barrow Biomimetic Spine (BBS) project is a resident-driven effort to manufacture a synthetic spine model with high biomechanical fidelity to human tissue. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of the current generation of BBS models on biomechanical testing of range of motion (ROM) and axial compression and to compare the performance of these models to historical cadaveric data acquired using the same testing protocol.
Methods: Six synthetic spine models comprising L3-5 segments were manufactured with variable soft-tissue densities and print orientations. Models underwent torque loading to a maximum of 7.5 N m. Torques were applied to the models in flexion-extension, lateral bending, axial rotation, and axial compression. Results were compared with historic cadaveric control data.
Results: Each model demonstrated steadily decreasing ROM on flexion-extension testing with increasing density of the intervertebral discs and surrounding ligamentous structures. Vertically printed models demonstrated markedly less ROM than equivalent models printed horizontally at both L3-4 (5.0° vs 14.0°) and L4-5 (3.9° vs 15.2°). Models D and E demonstrated ROM values that bracketed the cadaveric controls at equivalent torque loads (7.5 N m).
Conclusions: This study identified relevant variables that affect synthetic spine model ROM and compressibility, confirmed that the models perform predictably with changes in these print variables, and identified a set of model parameters that result in a synthetic model with overall ROM that approximates that of a cadaveric model. Future studies can be undertaken to refine model performance and determine intermodel variability.
Global Spine J
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bohl, Michael A; McBryan, Sarah; Newcomb, Anna G U S; Lehrman, Jennifer N; Kelly, Brian P.; Nakaji, Peter; Chang, Steve W; Uribe, Juan S.; Turner, Jay D; and Kakarla, U Kumar, "Range of Motion Testing of a Novel 3D-Printed Synthetic Spine Model." (2020). Neurosurgery. 652.