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Open Access Porcine Models in Spinal Research: Calibration and Comparative Finite Element Analysis of Various Configurations during Flexion–Extension

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This study was conducted to develop and calibrate a detailed 3-dimensional finite element model of the porcine lumbar spine and to compare this model with various configurations in flexion and extension. Computed tomography scans obtained from the L4–L5 lumbar segment of a Landrace × Large White pig were used to generate a solid volume. The various passive components were characterized by using a step-by-step calibration procedure in which the material properties of the anatomic structures were modified to match the corresponding in vitro data set-points retrieved from the literature. The range of motion of the totally assembled intact model was assessed under a 10-Nm flexion–extension moment and compared with data from a bilateral complete and hemifacetectomy configuration. In addition, the results from our porcine model were compared with published data regarding range of motion in a human finite element model in order to predict the configuration of the porcine model that most closely represented the human spine. Both the intact and hemifacetectomy configurations of the porcine model were comparable to the human spine. However, qualitative analysis of the instantaneous axis of rotation revealed a dissimilarity between the intact porcine model and human spine behavior, indicating the hemifacetectomy configuration of the porcine model as the most appropriate for spinal instrumentation studies. The present 3-dimensional nite element porcine model offers an additional tool to improve understanding of the biomechanics of the porcine spine and to decrease the expense of spinal research.

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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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