Spine Biomechanics

In the past two decades, major advances have been made in the development of implants and instrumentation for spine surgery. Several novel designs of artificial discs have been introduced to treat disc degeneration or injuries while preserving anatomic motion, and advanced materials have been used for fusion cages and other devices. Researchers at JVL have developed and used state-of-the-art methods for testing, evaluation, and post-market surveillance of a variety of implants and devices used for the treatment of spine disorders.  

Current Research

  • Design and fabrication of a laboratory wear simulator for spine implants
  • Pre-clinical evaluation of artificial lumbar discs and artificial cervical discs for wear resistance, fixation, and kinematics 
  • Laboratory simulation of surgical releases and maneuvers preformed during spine deformity correction surgery
  • Biomechanical evaluation of posterior dynamic stabilization devices
  • Custom design and fabrication of testing apparatuses to evaluate novel 3-D printed fusion cages
  • Retrieval and failure analysis, and post-market surveillance studies of artificial discs and other spine implants 


  1. Borkowski, S. L., Tamrazian, E., Bowen, R. E., Scaduto, A. A., Ebramzadeh, E., & Sangiorgio, S. N. (2016). Challenging the Conventional Standard for Thoracic Spine Range of Motion: A Systematic Review. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Reviews, 4(4).
  2. Knutsen, A. R., Borkowski, S. L., Ebramzadeh, E., Flanagan, C. L., Hollister, S. J., & Sangiorgio, S. N. (2015). Static and dynamic fatigue behavior of topology designed and conventional 3D printed bioresorbable PCL cervical interbody fusion devices. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 49, 332-342.
  3. Tan, T. L., Borkowski, S. L., Sangiorgio, S. N., Campbell, P. A., & Ebramzadeh, E. (2015). Imaging criteria for the quantification of disc degeneration: A systematic review. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Reviews, 3(2).
  4. Borkowski, S. L., Sangiorgio, S. N., Ebramzadeh, E., & Masri, S. F. (2014). An alternative measurement tool for the identification of hysteretic responses in biological joints. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 39, 270-278.
  5. Borkowski, S. L., Ebramzadeh, E., Sangiorgio, S. N., & Masri, S. F. (2014). Application of the Restoring Force Method for Identification of Lumbar Spine Flexion-Extension Motion Under Flexion-Extension Moment. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 136(4), 044501.
  6. Sangiorgio, S. N., Sheikh, H., Borkowski, S. L., Khoo, L., Warren, C. R., & Ebramzadeh, E. (2011). Comparison of three posterior dynamic stabilization devices. Spine, 36(19), E1251-E1258.
  7. Lee JL, Billi F, Sangiorgio SN, McGarry W, Krueger DJ, Miller PT, McKellop H, Ebramzadeh E. Wear of an experimental metal-on-metal artificial disc for the lumbar spine. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Mar 15;33(6):597-606. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e318166aaa4. PubMed PMID: 18344852.