The intervertebral disc (IVD) is the largest cartilaginous structure in human body that contributes to flexibility and load support in the spine. To accomplish these functions, the disc has a unique architecture consisting of a centrally-located nucleus pulposus (NP) surrounded superiorly and inferiorly by cartilage endplates and peripherally by the annulus fibrosus (AF). Because the disc is avascular and experiences mechanical loads, the cells in IVD tissues live in a complex physical environment. Knowledge of mechanical, chemical and electrical signals within the tissue is important for understanding mechanobiology of IVD [1]. The objective of this study was to develop a three-dimensional (3D), inhomogeneous finite element model (FEM) for human IVD for analyzing the physical environment and solute transport within the tissue under different mechanical loading conditions. A case of IVD under axial compression was simulated and reported.

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