It was reported in several studies that friction and wear of joint prosthesis are apparently influenced by the proteins contained in the synovial fluid. However, detailed mechanisms of these tribological processes have not been clarified yet. The present study aims on the effect of adsorbed protein film on frictional behaviour of metal/polyethylene contact pair. Reciprocating pin-on-plate test was conducted, while the CoCrMo pin was sliding against UHMWPE plate. The contact was lubricated by various solutions of albumin and γ-globulin solved in PBS. After the friction test, the thickness of adsorbed film was evaluated using spectroscopic ellipsometry. Structure of the adsorbed proteins was later examined by FT-IR. The results showed that at low sliding speed equal to 10 mm/s, there was a linear correlation between the friction coefficient and the thickness of the adsorbed protein film. An increase of friction was thus accompanied by the evolution of protein film. In that case, both proteins undergone substantial conformational changes, losing their original structure. On the contrary, proteins could sustain their secondary structure to some extent at higher sliding speed (50 mm/s), when different behaviour of the both proteins could be observed. This phenomenon was attributed to different structure of albumin and γ-globulin in its native state. It might be concluded that friction coefficient of metal-on-polyethylene joint prosthesis is influenced by protein content, as well as kinematic conditions, since the sliding conditions have a certain effect on both the adsorbed film formation and structure of the adsorbed molecules.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films