Roles of adsorbed film and gel layer in hydration lubrication for articular cartilage

T. Murakami, Kazuhiro Nakashima, Yoshinori Sawae, N. Sakai, N. Hosoda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    To maintain low friction and low wear in natural synovial joints, adsorbed film formation on articular cartilage surface appears to play an important role in mixed or boundary lubrication regime where local direct contact occurs. Furthermore, the proteoglycan gel layer at the uppermost superficial zone in articular cartilage appears to play an important role in preserving low friction and low wear by the hydration lubrication mechanism even after removal of adsorbed film. However, the interaction or synergistic action between adsorbed film and hydrated film/surface has not yet been clarified. To examine the roles of adsorbed film and gel layer on articular cartilage surface in hydration lubrication, the changes in friction were observed in the reciprocating test of articular cartilage against a glass plate, at repeated rubbing including restarting after interrupting-unloading process. It is noticed that at restarting immediately after loading, hydration lubrication is expected to become effective. The lubricating roles of protein-adsorbed film in hydration lubrication are discussed on the basis of experimental results in both cases with and without surface gel layer. The comparison of albumin and γ -globulin is described in connection with the existence of a gel layer.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-295
    Number of pages9
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 1 2009

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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