Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Elder, H. Steven

Committee Member

Liao, Jun

Committee Member

To, Filip S.D.

Committee Member

Eckman, Walter

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Biological Engineering


Low back pain is also a vast socioeconomic issue which costing American taxpayers more than $50 billion yearly. Estimates state that up to 75% of low back pain is caused by lumbar degenerative disc disease. The nucleus seems plays a critical role in pain related to disc degeneration; it is the starting point of the degenerative cascade. All of these factors make it the focus of novel treatment options. The goal of this study is to create idealized models to determine the shape of nuclear implant best suited to resist the standard shear and torsional stresses that are generated in the lumbar spine. Thus, five nuclear intervertebral disc prosthetics (Implant designs 1-5) were designed. Shear testing was conducted using an Instron, and torsion testing was conducted using the LabVIEW in conjunction with a torsional pneumatic cylinder. Implant design 4 was determined to be the implant design best suited to resist shear stresses. Implant design 3 was determined to be the implant design best suited to allow normal torsion of the spine. Therefore, it was determined that a combination of implant design 3 and implant design 4 might be optimal in terms of shear, torsion, wear, and stability.