Bioactive self-assembly hydrogel for the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration

  • Joseph Craig Lacey

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Severe back pain caused by intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) and disc herniation effects up to 35% of people within their lifetime, of which 10 % of cases lead to sufferers being chronically disabled. The impact of these conditions has been estimated in terms of social-economic cost, to be in excess of €12 billion per year in the UK alone. While, the biological processes that cause IVDD are not currently fully understood, IVDD can be characterised as progressive degeneration of the nucleus pulposus tissue, driven by a combination of inflammatory immune processes, enzymatic degradation of extracellular matrix components and changes in cellular phenotype and expression. While there is currently no suitable long-term treatment for IVDD, there has been a new drive of research in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in an attempt to find a potential treatment for this condition. The aim of this study is to develop a novel bio-active self-assembly hydrogel capable of in situ formation as a potentially injectable treatment for IVDD. The design and intended formulation of this hydrogel was based on both the previous work of (Reches and Gazit, 2003) on the self-assembly peptide, Fmoc-F2, and the design of a novel peptide from the active site of human insulin like growth factor -1.
Date of Award1 Feb 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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