Textile Design of an Intervertebral Disc Replacement Device from Silk Yarn

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Low back pain is often due to degeneration of the intervertebral discs (IVD). It is one of the most common age- and work-related problems in today's society. Current treatments are not able to efficiently restore the full function of the IVD. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to reconstruct the two parts of the intervertebral disc-the annulus fibrosus (AF) and the nucleus pulposus (NP)-in such a way that the natural structural features were mimicked by a textile design. Silk was selected as the biomaterial for realization of a textile IVD because of its cytocompatibility, biodegradability, high strength, stiffness, and toughness, both in tension and compression. Therefore, an embroidered structure made of silk yarn was developed that reproduces the alternating fiber structure of +30° and -30° fiber orientation found in the AF and mimics its lamellar structure. The developed embroidered ribbons showed a tensile strength that corresponded to that of the natural AF. Fiber additive manufacturing with 1 mm silk staple fibers was used to replicate the fiber network of the NP and generate an open porous textile 3D structure that may serve as a reinforcement structure for the gel-like NP.


Original languageEnglish
Article number152
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37092404
unpaywall 10.3390/biomimetics8020152
Scopus 85163880887
WOS 001016971600001
ORCID /0000-0002-7440-9277/work/142239110



  • annulus fibrosus, embroidery, fiber-based additive manufacturing, intervertebral disc, nucleus pulposus, silk, Annulus fibrosus, Embroidery, Silk, Fiber-based additive manufacturing, Intervertebral disc, Nucleus pulposus