Over the last several decades investigations of replacement material for intervertebral disc (IVD) have been an important topic in medical research. The challenge is to create materials whose mechanical behavior ideally matches that of the articular cartilage comprising the native discs. Thus, the study of articular cartilages underlying mechanical characteristics is a key issue for the successful development and refinement of replacement materials.

Using both experimental and cartilage histostructural data, including fiber orientation, a visco-hyperelastic-diffusion (VHD) material model is developed and implemented. This allows us to numerically study the mechanical behavior of an IVD consisting of a cartilaginous ring surrounding a fluid core.

In this work, a three dimensional finite element (FE) model is developed to simulate the behavior of an IVD under various loading conditions. Finally, model parameters are iteratively determined by comparing the simulation results to compression tests on corresponding discs performed in a MTS machine with a tempered nutrient solution.

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