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Development of laboratory spine with artificial muscles

Swamy, Amit


Amit Swamy


M. J. (Michael J.), 1957 Fagan


There is an increasing demand for spinal surgery and a growing number of new spinal implants and surgical procedures being offered by orthopaedic companies. However, the testing of spinal implants and spinal instrumentation is problematic, with testing in cadavers and animals becoming increasingly difficult and both having significant limitations. Thus the aim of this research is to develop an artificial laboratory spine that will have the same physical and biomechanical properties as the human spine. Validation of computer model is difficult hence an active artificial laboratory spine is being developed. A number of spinal elements have been produced and are being investigated, including an artificial intervertebral disc with different material properties to allow it to simulate different clinical conditions. The study is the first of its kind with the characteristics of the disc material that have been assessed in the laboratory, artificial muscles and spring elements and with normal physiological movements compared and validated from the reported literature. The model was used to investigate the potential of Shape Memory Alloy wires to act as artificial muscles and to control the movement of the spine. It is anticipated that the laboratory spine will have a number of other applications, in particular in the assessment of spinal instrumentation and testing. An actual geometry laboratory spine is also generated with suitable manufacturing technique for intervertebral disc, which has an accurate surface profile to fit between the two vertebral bodies above and below it, is discussed in this thesis.


Swamy, A. (2007). Development of laboratory spine with artificial muscles. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Spinal implants
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Engineering, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2007


Thesis (6.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2007 Swamy, Amit. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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