Using small angle X-ray scattering to investigate the variation in composition across a graduated region within an intervertebral disc prosthesis

  • J. H. Gwynne
  • R. E. Cameron


The CAdisc-L is a polycarbonate urethane lumbar intervertebral disc prosthesis that aims to replicate the mechanical properties of a natural disc as closely as possible. In this work, Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) was used to investigate the variation in composition across prototype disc samples containing annulus and nucleus regions separated by a graduated region. An empirical data analysis method was developed involving the calculation of intensity ratios, since the SAXS data did not readily fit any of the standard analysis models. Calibration samples were used to quantify the variation in SAXS response with composition and a linescan method was employed to ascertain the change in composition across discs manufactured with different graduated region volumes. The graduated region width increases with the volume incorporated into it during manufacture, as expected, but the properties do not vary linearly across the graduated regions. The method developed during this work can be adapted for use with any series of polymer samples that shows a systematic variation in SAXS behaviour with composition.


Polyurethane Hard Segment Soft Segment HMDI Polycarbonate Urethane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr Peter Laity for helpful discussions about polyurethanes and SAXS, and Dr Scott Johnson and Steven Scott at Ranier for guidance and help with sample manufacture respectively. Funding for this research was gratefully received from the EPSRC and Ranier Technology Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials, Department of Materials Science and MetallurgyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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