Tim Holsgrove


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Development of a Spine Simulator for Dynamic, Six-Axis Spinal Testing
In order that physiological motion of the spine could be replicated in-vitro, a six-axis testing apparatus was developed. This has be used to complete the dynamic stiffness matrix testing of single-level spinal specimens in six degrees of freedom, achieved through a rotation and a translation in each of the three planes. The simulator can also apply movements or loads in more than one axis simultaneously, so that future studies can adopt complex loading regimes.

The simulator comprises a Zwick dual-axis, hydraulic testing machine, which can provide movements and loads in axial compression/extension, and axial rotation. An XY translation platform provides anterior/posterior and lateral shear, and from this a gimbal head is mounted that can provide flexion/extension, and lateral bending.

The range of motion and load capacity of the spine simulator is suitable for both single- and multi-level specimens, and it is able to accommodate both porcine and cadaveric specimens of the cervial, thoracic, and lumbar regions.Testing can be completed statically, quasistatically, and dynamically. The axes are independently controlled, and any number of the six axes can be used simultaneously, using individual waveforms.

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