articular cartilage, synovial fluid, synovial joint, lubrication, biotribology


The extremely low friction and minimal wear in natural synovial joints appear to be established by effective lubrication mechanisms based on appropriate combination of articular cartilage and synovial fluid. The complex structure of cartilage composed of collagen and proteoglycan with high water content contributes to high load-carrying capacity as biphasic materials and the various constituents of synovial fluid play important roles in various lubrication mechanisms. However, the detailed differences in functions of the intact and damaged cartilage tissues, and the interaction or synergistic action of synovia constituents with articular cartilage have not yet been clarified. In this study, to examine the roles of synovia constituents and the importance of cartilage surface conditions, the changes in friction were observed in the reciprocating tests of intact and damaged articular cartilage specimens against glass plate lubricated with lubricants containing phospholipid, protein and/or hyaluronic acid as main constituents in synovial fluid. The effectiveness of lubricant constituents and the influence of cartilage surface conditions on friction are discussed. In addition, the protectiveness by synovia constituents for intact articular cartilage surfaces is evaluated.


Tsinghua University Press