Synergies in lubrication
To slide surfaces against each other with application of a minimum force and minimum wear has been important since ancient times, and it remains equally important today. The use of oil-soluble lubricants is widely spread in technology, whereas living organisms have developed water-soluble lubricants to facilitate sliding motions. In this perspective article we focus on water-based lubrication in the boundary lubrication regime, and particularly lubrication synergies. This focus has, of course, found inspiration from the outstanding lubrication properties of synovial joints. It has ignited significant amount of research, mostly aimed at answering the question: Which molecule is the magic biolubricant? Different research groups have advocated different answers, and the debate has been intensive. In this article we argue that the question in itself is inappropriate. The relevant question is rather the following: How do molecules work in synergy to provide superior lubrication?