Many different phenotypes exist for intervertebral disc degeneration, and such diversity most likely emerges from the many multiphysics and biological cross-talks through the organs. Recently, we have found that local tissue alterations nearby the vertebra might induce remote cell stress, which may, in turn, explain early herniation and/or severe degeneration cases. Nutritional cell stress and the capacity of metabolites to diffuse through the intervertebral disc volume are likely central mechanisms in early disc degeneration. However, whether degenerative events can be anticipated through relations with the organ morphology and /or MRI signals remains unknown. This project focusses on regionally coupling multiphysics disc tissue and agent-based cell models available at UPF, in patient specific intervertebral disc finite element models. The objective is to identify specific regions prone to degeneration, depending on the specific size and tissue properties of the disc. Relationships with MRI will be further established through multivariate correlation models between quantitative MRI signals and tissue composition measurements included in multiphysics models of water behaviour in the disc tissues.
Hosting group: SIMBIOSys