Joanna Veres

A Novel Computational Model For Bovine Intervertebral Disc Joint Level Mechanics

Being able to understand and predict the behavior of bovine intervertebral discs under different mechanical stresses is important because bovine discs are often used as a stand-in for human discs in disc biomechanics studies. Current computational methods of modeling stress and strain mechanics in the disc are very inconsistent because they are unable to reliably and accurately depict fiber mechanics, due to the fact that they treat a non-homogenous, fibrous part of the disc (the annulus fibrosis) as a homogenous structure. This newly developed computational model is better able to predict the behavior of the disc as it more accurately models the annulus fibrosis as a structure made up of separate fiber bundles. With this improved model, the scientific community will be able to more accurately predict the mechanical stability of a disc with simulated repair or degeneration. However, this model has yet to be experimentally validated. My project is designed to evaluate the compression and torsional mechanics of the bovine disc in order to verify the validity of this new computation model.

Message to Sponsor

This summer truly has been a transformative experience that has not only helped me learn more about biomechanics but also deepened my passion for research overall. Having the opportunity to become fully invested in a personal project from start to finish taught me so much about the research process in a way that I never could have understood without this hands-on approach. This program really has made a significant positive impact on the way I think about conducting research and my future in bioengineering by helping me gain a more comprehensive understanding of how research works. Being able to grow my skills in research has made me feel like I truly belong in the world of science and has increased my confidence as an engineer, which is something I cannot thank the Rose Hills Foundation for enough.
  • Major: Bioengineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hill Foundation
  • Mentor: Grace O’Connell