An apparatus for tensile and bending tests of perinatal, neonatal, pediatric and adult cadaver osteoligamentous cervical spines.
Investigations of biomechanical properties of pediatric cadaver cervical spines subjected to tensile or bending modes of loading are generally limited by a lack of available tissue and limiting sample sizes, both per age and across age ranges. It is therefore important to develop fixation techniques capable of testing individual cadavers in multiple modes of loading to obtain more biomechanical data per subject. In this study, an experimental apparatus and fixation methodology was developed to accommodate cadaver osteoligamentous head-neck complexes from around birth (perinatal) to full maturation (adult) [cervical length: 2.5-12.5 cm; head breadth: 6-15 cm; head length: 6-19 cm] and sequentially test the whole cervical spine in tension, the upper cervical spine in bending and the upper cervical spine in tension. The experimental apparatus and the fixation methodology provided a rigid casting of the head during testing and did not compromise the skull. Further testing of the intact skull and sub-cranial material was made available due to the design of the apparatus and fixation techniques utilized during spinal testing. The stiffness of the experimental apparatus and fixation technique are reported to better characterize the cervical spine stiffness data obtained from the apparatus. The apparatus and fixation technique stiffness was 1986 N/mm. This experimental system provides a stiff and consistent platform for biomechanical testing across a broad age range and under multiple modes of loading.
Luck, JF; Bass, CR; Owen, SJ; Nightingale, RW
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