Ellen Liebenberg

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End plates serve as the interface between rigid vertebral bodies and pliant intervertebral disks. Because the lumbar spine carries significant forces and disks don't have a dedicated blood supply, end plates must balance conflicting requirements of being strong to prevent vertebral fracture and porous to facilitate transport between disk cells and vertebral(More)
Intervertebral disc injury or degeneration is a common cause of low back pain, and yet the specific source of pain remains ambiguous in many cases. Previous research indicates that the central vertebral endplate is highly innervated and can elicit pain responses to pressure. In effort to trace the origin of nerves located at the endplate, we used protein(More)
We have developed a simple and effective animal model to study the distraction neurogenesis utilizing the sciatic nerve-lengthening technique in rats. The model allows macroscopic, physiological, and histological evaluation of the distraction site. Fourteen adult Harlan Sprague Dawley rats (300-350 g) were used in this study. A 10 mm segment of the right(More)
OBJECTIVE To compare gross and histologic patterns of age-related degeneration within the intervertebral disc and adjacent vertebra between rhesus monkeys and humans. MATERIALS AND METHODS We examined age-related patterns of disc degeneration from mid-sagittal sections of the intervertebral disc and adjacent vertebral bodies (VB) among six rhesus monkey(More)
Tissue engineering constructs to treat intervertebral disc degeneration must adapt to the hypoxic and inflammatory degenerative disc microenvironment. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of two key design factors, cell type and cell configuration, on the regenerative potential of nucleus pulposus cell (NPC) and mesenchymal stem cell(More)
PURPOSE To characterize the distribution of nerves within a single S1 vertebral body, with particular emphasis on the superior endplate that interfaces with the L5/S1 disc. METHODS Musculature and connective tissue surrounding the sacrum was carefully dissected away for close visual inspection of penetrating nerve fibers. The S1 vertebral body was then(More)
PURPOSE Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a common disabling condition for millions of individuals. Injection of xenogenic juvenile chondrocytes (XJC) into the disc space has been shown to have a therapeutic potential for disc repair. In the current study, XJC were injected extra-discally on neural structures in an in vivo rat hemilaminectomy model to(More)
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