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J Biomech. 2009 Jun 19;42(9):1163-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.04.040. Epub 2009 May 22.

The role of interstitial fluid pressurization in articular cartilage lubrication.

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  • 1Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA. ateshian@columbia.edu

Abstract

Over the last two decades, considerable progress has been reported in the field of cartilage mechanics that impacts our understanding of the role of interstitial fluid pressurization on cartilage lubrication. Theoretical and experimental studies have demonstrated that the interstitial fluid of cartilage pressurizes considerably under loading, potentially supporting most of the applied load under various transient or steady-state conditions. The fraction of the total load supported by fluid pressurization has been called the fluid load support. Experimental studies have demonstrated that the friction coefficient of cartilage correlates negatively with this variable, achieving remarkably low values when the fluid load support is greatest. A theoretical framework that embodies this relationship has been validated against experiments, predicting and explaining various outcomes, and demonstrating that a low friction coefficient can be maintained for prolonged loading durations under normal physiological function. This paper reviews salient aspects of this topic, as well as its implications for improving our understanding of boundary lubrication by molecular species in synovial fluid and the cartilage superficial zone. Effects of cartilage degeneration on its frictional response are also reviewed.

PMID:
19464689
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2758165
Free PMC Article
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