The intervertebral disc (IVD), being the largest avascular structure in human body, receives nourishment from the vascular network present near its periannular surface and at cartilage endplates (CEPs). It is believed that insufficient nutritional supply is a major cause for disc degeneration [1]. Understanding the mechanisms of solute transport in IVD is crucial for elucidating the etiology of disc degeneration, and to develop strategies for tissue repair (in vivo), and tissue engineering (in vitro). Transport in IVD is complex and involves a series of electromechanical, chemical, and biological coupled events. This study focused on the implications of solute-tissue reversible binding reactions on transport phenomena in the disc. A two dimensional (2D) finite element model was developed to predict diffusive-reactive transport in IVD. The numerical model was used to simulate transport of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in IVD, in the presence of binding interactions between IGF-1 and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-3) located on the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the disc.

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