Repulsive surfaces and lamellar lubrication of synovial joints

Zenon Pawlak, Kehinde Q. Yusuf, Raghuvir Pai, Wieslaw Urbaniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Surface-active phospholipid (SAPL) secreted in the synovial joint plays an important role in cartilage integrity. In healthy joints, phospholipid multibilayers coat the cartilage surface, providing boundary lamellar-repulsive hydration lubrication. Current mechanism for lubrication of synovial joints, as well as the physical and chemical nature of the cartilage surface is discussed. Friction between phospholipid (PL) bilayers attached to cartilage surfaces is considered including a discussion on the recent observation of an extreme friction reduction as a consequence of a less charged hydrophilic cartilage surface. It is proposed that the highly efficient lubrication occurring in natural joints arises from the presence of negatively charged cartilage surfaces. The lamellar-repulsive mechanisms for the reduction of friction is supported by phospholipid lamellar phases and charged macromolecules residing between contacting cartilage surfaces at pH ∼7.4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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