Poor nutritional supply has been a major concern for the health of intervertebral disc (IVD) since the IVD is the largest avascular tissue in the human body. The transport of vital nutrients to cells relies on diffusion and convection through the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the IVD. Transport and metabolism of nutrients (e.g., oxygen and glucose) within the IVD depend on many factors, including the material properties of ECM (e.g., permeability, elastic modulus, and solute diffusivity), cellular metabolic rates, nutritional supply at the edge of the IVD, and mechanical loading [1–6]. Tissue degeneration alters the material properties of the IVD, such as an increase in elastic modulus and a decrease in water content, fixed charge density, permeability and solute diffusivity [6]. However, the effect of tissue degeneration on transport and metabolism of nutrients in the IVD under mechanical loading has not been elucidated. The objective of this study was to numerically investigate the distribution of glucose, oxygen and lactate in the degenerated IVD under static unconfined compression using the mechano-electrochemical mixture theory [7].

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