Digital Image Correlation (DIC) Assessment of the Non-Linear Response of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament of the Spine during Flexion and Extension

Maria Luisa Ruspi, Marco Palanca, Luca Cristofolini, Christian Liebsch, Tomaso Villa, Marco Brayda-Bruno, Fabio Galbusera, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Luigi La Barbera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While the non-linear behavior of spine segments has been extensively investigated in the past, the behavior of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament (ALL) and its contribution during flexion and extension has never been studied considering the spine as a whole. The aims of the present study were to exploit Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to: (I) characterize the strain distribution on the ALL during flexion-extension, (II) compare the strain on specific regions of interest (ROI) of the ALL in front of the vertebra and of the intervertebral disc, (III) analyze the non-linear relationship between the surface strain and the imposed rotation and the resultant moment. Three specimens consisting of 6 functional spinal units (FSUs) were tested in flexion-extension. The full-field strain maps were measured on the surface of the ALL, and the most strained areas were investigated in detail. The DIC-measured strains showed different values of peak strain in correspondence with the vertebra and the disc but the average over the ROIs was of the same order of magnitude. The strain-moment curves showed a non-linear response like the moment-angle curves: in flexion the slope of the strain-moment curve was greater than in extension and with a more abrupt change of slope. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study addressing, by means of a full-field strain measurement, the non-linear contribution of the ALL to spine biomechanics. This study was limited to only three specimens; hence the results must be taken with caution. This information could be used in the future to build more realistic numerical models of the spine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE384
JournalMaterials
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Digital Image Correlation (DIC) Assessment of the Non-Linear Response of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament of the Spine during Flexion and Extension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this