Spine Biomechanics

Researchers at JVL are involved in the testing, evaluation, and post-market surveillance of a variety of implants and devices used for the treatment of spine disorders. Some of the projects have included:

  • Design and fabrication of a lumbar disc wear simulator
  • Preclinical wear evaluation total disc implants
  • Biomechanical evaluation of posterior dynamic stabilization devices
  • Custom design and fabrication of testing apparatuses to evaluate novel 3-D printed implants
  • Implant retrieval analysis & post-market surveillance studies

Current Research

The JVL researchers have collaborated with Sami Masri, PhD from the University of Southern California Engineering School to study the kinematics of spine. Specifically, mathematical models have been developed that describe motions and mechanical responses of the spine under load.  These techniques have been used previously by Dr. Masri and his colleagues to characterize the mechanics of bridges and other engineering structures, and have been used to determine whether structures are damaged after accidents or natural disasters. Given a sufficiently large sample size, the technique will allow monitoring of spine health and recovery in patients.



  1. Knutsen AR, Borkowski SL, Ebramzadeh E, Flanagan CL, Hollister SJ, Sangiorgio SN: 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 2015, 49:332-342.
  2. Borkowski SL, Ebramzadeh E, Sangiorgio SN, Masri SF: Application of the restoring force method for identification of lumbar spine flexion-extension motion under flexion-extension moment. Journal of biomechanical engineering 2014, 136(4).
  3. Borkowski SL, Ebramzadeh E, Sangiorgio SN, Masri SF: An alternative measurement tool for the identification of hysteretic responses in biological joints. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2014; 39: 270-8.
  4. Sangiorgio SN, Sheikh H, Borkowski SL, Khoo L, Warren CR, Ebramzadeh E: Comparison of three posterior dynamic stabilization devices. Spine 2011, 36(19):E1251-1258.
  5. 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 2008 Mar 15;33(6):597-606.