Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.



First Advisor

Maryam Mobed-Miremadi

Second Advisor

Bill Lu


Degenerative disc disease has been one of the leading causes of debilitating back pain, affecting more than 400 million people yearly worldwide. This disease is so common that top neurosurgeons around the world are performing multiple surgeries every day to help relieve their patients of constant pain. The recovery time after an intense lumbar replacement surgery could vary from patient to patient but something most patients have in common is they do not want to do it again because they need to replace the disc after afew years. This is why our team is led by a top Neurosurgeon, Dr. Todd Lanman aims to create an artificial lumbar replacement disc that lasts years longer. Our disc utilizes a very biocompatible thermoplastic silicone polycarbonate polyurethane called carbosil made by DSM for our polymer core. Our disc also is the first disc to be designed using an alloy made using two metals named molybdenum and rhenium. This alloy has shown to be ideal for prosthetics in both physical and biocompatibility properties. Our project comprises research that covers the biomechanics, clinical performance, and biomaterials that allow for the optimization of our device. It also includes a breakdown of our design process and our final solidworks designs of the disc. A future goal for us would be to run mechanical tests on a prototype using these two materials and our design.