Infoscience

Conference paper

Development of an in situ controllable polymerization tool and process for hydrogel used to replace nucleus pulposus

Currently implants or tissue replacements are inserted either as a whole implant or by injecting a liquid which polymerizes to form a solid implant at the appropriate location. This is either highly invasive or not controllable. We developed a tool to perform such surgeries in a minimally invasive and controllable way. It combines photopolymerization and fluorescence spectroscopy in a surgical apparatus. However, to successfully replace tissue such as cartilage or an intervertebral disc, photopolymerizable materials do not only need to be photoactive. They should also be able to withstand the environmental loading conditions after implantation. Therefore we developed a set of in situ and in vitro tests adapted to the evaluation of photopolymerized tissue replacements and implants. In particular in this article, we report on a method, which combines photopolymerization and photorheology to track the current state of polymer during photopolymerization.

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