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Proceedings Paper

A miniature fiber optic pressure sensor for intervertebral disc pressure measurements of rodents
Author(s): Silas Nesson; Miao Yu; Adam H. Hsieh
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Paper Abstract

Lower back pain continues to be a leading cause of disability in people of all ages, and has been associated with degenerative disc disease. It is well accepted that mechanical stress, among other factors, can play a role in the development of disc degeneration. Pressures generated in the intervertebral disc have been measured both in vivo and in vitro for humans and animals. However, thus far it has been difficult to measure pressure experimentally in rodent discs due to their small size. With the prevalent use of rodent tail disc models in mechanobiology, it is important to characterize the intradiscal pressures generated with externally applied stresses. In this paper, a miniature fiber optic Fabry-Perot interferometric pressure sensor with an outer diameter of 360 &mgr;m was developed to measure intradiscal pressures in rat caudal discs. A low coherence interferometer based optical system was used, which includes a broadband light source, a high-speed spectrometer, and a Fabry-Perot sensor. The sensor employs a capillary tube, a flexible, polymer diaphragm coated with titanium as a partial mirror, and a fiber tip as another mirror. The pressure induced deformation of the diaphragm results in a cavity length change of the Fabry-Perot interferometer which can be calculated from the wavelength shift of interference fringes. The sensor exhibited good linearity with small applied pressures. Our validation experiments show that owing to the small size, inserting the sensor does not disrupt the annulus fibrosus and will not alter intradiscal pressures generated. Measurements also demonstrate the feasibility of using this sensor to quantify external load intradiscal pressure relationships in small animal discs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6528, Nanosensors, Microsensors, and Biosensors and Systems 2007, 65280P (11 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715240
Show Author Affiliations
Silas Nesson, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Miao Yu, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Adam H. Hsieh, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6528:
Nanosensors, Microsensors, and Biosensors and Systems 2007
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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