Journal article Open Access
Daisuke Fukui; Koichi Masuda; Michael Zimber; Stephanie Y. Adachi; Natsuko Arimoto; Jeong Ho Kim; Martin Latterich; Gail K. Naughton*
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a major cause of chronic and debilitating back pain whose prevalence and severity make it a major health issue of substantial socioeconomic importance. The prevalence of chronic disabling back pain has tripled over the last 20 years  and the treatment of lower back pain in the United States is estimated to cost more than $100 billion per year.  Current treatment options are mostly palliative since disc tissue has little intrinsic repair capacity once a matrix synthesis/degradation imbalance occurs. Our bioengineered naturally secreted compositions have demonstrated the ability to decrease/remove protease and inflammatory cytokine activity and stimulate native cells to secrete new matrix production in vitro, and to maintain nucleus hydration and help to recover from the initial disc height loss in the semi-acute rabbit annular puncture model.