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Amirkabir University of Technology Researchers Develop Innovative Scaffold for Intervertebral Disc Fibrous Tissue

 | Post date: 2023/09/9 | 
Researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology have achieved a significant breakthrough in the medical field by successfully developing a specialized scaffold for intervertebral disc fibrous tissue.
Elham Rahim Torughi, a PhD student at Amirkabir University of Technology and the project manager of "Design, Mechanical Characterization, and Manufacturing of Gelatin Scaffold Reinforced with PLLA Thread for the Fibrous Tissue of the Intervertebral Disc," emphasized the importance of the intervertebral disc in supporting spinal movement, weight, and flexibility. The intervertebral disc, composed of a cartilaginous and fibrous tissue, consists of two main components: the disc core and the fibrous ring.
Traditionally, artificial disc replacement has been a common method to alleviate back pain. While artificial discs enable motion preservation and maintain disc space height, they can lead to wear and tear, potentially causing osteoporosis and other adverse effects.
Rahim Torughi highlighted the electrospinning technique as a means to produce engineered tissues with remarkable regenerative capabilities and a multilayer structure featuring regular fibers and suitable mechanical properties. Electrospun threads are well-suited for reconstructing fibrous tissues within the body, such as the intervertebral disc.
The researchers successfully prepared a gelatin scaffold reinforced with PLLA electrospun thread and thoroughly investigated its properties. The results of their research demonstrated that incorporating electrospun nanofibrous yarns into pure hydrogel reduces porosity and swelling while enhancing tensile strength and elastic modulus.

Regarding the cellular aspect of the experiment, Rahim Torughi reported that cell adhesion, proliferation, and expression were notably improved on the surface of the hydrogel reinforced with threads compared to pure hydrogel. Moving forward, the mechanical properties of the scaffold will be further examined under conditions closely resembling those of the human body.
It is worth mentioning that Dr. Mehran Kasra, a faculty member at Amirkabir University of Technology, supervised the project, while Dr. Homa Maleki, a faculty member at Birjand University, served as a consultant for the research endeavor. This groundbreaking development holds great promise for advancing the field of intervertebral disc treatment and regeneration.