PLF are used to therapeutically fuse vertebrae (Example 1). This project used non-dimensional conductivity analysis to estimate the structural integrity of PLF surgically introduced to rabbit vertebrae. Images were converted to grams of hydroxyapatite per cc using standards. Load bearing regions of cortical bone within the PLF were identified using flow analysis (Figure 1).
The conductivity at each point, at each slice along the PLF and of the entire PLF were calculated. For the conductivity numbers to be more meaningful, and for these numbers to be comparable across species of different scale, conductivity metrics were normalized to typical voxel-wise, slice by slice, and net PLF conductivity derived from the spine. Color coded images of each PLF were presented to the sponsor, along with group level and statistical analysis as seen below (Figure 2).