Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 221–229 | Cite as

Impact of material properties of intervertebral disc on dynamic response of the human lumbar spine to vertical vibration: a finite element sensitivity study

  • Li-Xin GuoEmail author
  • Wei Fan
Original Article


This study aimed to determine the effect of variations in material properties of the intervertebral disc on dynamic response of the human lumbar spine to vertical vibration using a finite element model of the lumbar L1–S1 motion segment. The present material sensitivity study was conducted by varying elastic moduli for annulus ground substance (AGS), annulus fibers (AF), and nucleus pulposus (NP) in the disc. Transient dynamic analysis was performed initially on the model with basic material property under a sinusoidal vertical vibration load. Subsequently, the same analysis was done for each of the three disc components corresponding to high and low material property cases. The computed results were plotted as a function of time and compared. The AGS property displayed a larger impact on vertebral axial displacement and von Mises stress in AGS, and the AF property displayed a larger impact on disc bulge. In contrast, the NP property had little effect on all the response parameters. Additionally, the intradiscal pressure was found to be not sensitive to any of the disc properties. These findings may be helpful in adoption of appropriate material parameters for the intervertebral disc in finite element model of the lumbar spine used for vibration analysis.

Graphical abstract

Material property sensitivity analysis on vibration characteristics of the human lumbar spine.


Lumbar spine Finite element model Vibration Material sensitivity Dynamic response 


Funding information

We are grateful for the grants from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (02090022118032) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51275082, 11272273).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical Engineering and AutomationNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina

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