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1 Laboratoire de Mécanique des Contacts et des Structures, INSA-Lyon, CNRS UMR5259, F69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, FRANCE
2 Université Technique “Gh. Asachi”, Faculté de Mécanique, 700050, Iasi, ROUMANIE
3 Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée et Nanostructures, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS UMR5586, F69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, FRANCE


Abstract. The aim of this work is to identify the coupled role of the biological components of synovial fluid in the remarkable tribological operation of a healthy natural joint, as well as in the friction of steel and polythene implants. It uses a realistic ex-vivo model capable of reproducing the mechanical and physicochemical characteristics of the entire tribological triplet of the joint, whether healthy or implanted. It particularly focuses on the lipidic bilayers and vesicle structures associated with synovial fluid. The analysis of the friction measurements and fluorescence microscopy images confirm the role of lipidic bilayers in maintaining a very low friction coefficient. In addition, we observe that the substitute cartilage favours the formation and maintenance of these bilayers, which is not the case of implant materials.


Keywords:  synovial joint, biolubrication, molecular assemblies, lipidic bilayers, articular cartilage




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