New diagnostic and treatment techniques for chronic lower back pain involve localized drug delivery into the lumbar intervertebral disc [1,2]. A better understanding of these new techniques could be gained by measuring drug concentration at specific intradiscal locations at different time points [1]. Currently, there are no established methods for quantifying real-time in situ drug concentrations in the human intervertebral disc; however, injection profiles have been successfully characterized in pig disc, human brain, adipose tissue, and blood using microdialysis [3,4,5]. This technique involves continuous sampling of interstitial fluid via semi-permeable membranes mounted on miniature, implantable catheters [6]. Given the success of microdialysis in characterizing the real-time composition of other poroelastic tissues, we hypothesize that this method will be similarly successful when applied to human lumbar disc.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.