Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 45, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels

Author affiliations

Abstract

Hydrogels are suggested as less invasive alternatives to total joint replacements, but their inferior tribological performance compared to articular cartilage remains a barrier to implementation. Existing lubrication theories do not fully characterise the friction response of all hydrogels, and a better insight into the lubrication mechanisms must be established to enable optimised hydrogel performance. We therefore studied the lubricating conditions in a hydrogel contact using fluorescent imaging under simulated physiological sliding conditions. A reciprocating configuration was used to examine the effects of contact dimension and stroke length on the lubricant replenishment in the contact. The results show that the lubrication behaviour is strongly dependent on the contact configurations; When the system operates in a ‘migrating’ configuration, with the stroke length larger than the contact width, the contact is uniformly lubricated and shows low friction; When the contact is in an ‘overlapping’ configuration with a stroke length smaller than the contact width, the contact is not fully replenished, resulting in high friction. The mechanism of non-replenishment at small relative stroke length was also observed in a cartilage contact, indicating that the theory could be generalised to soft porous materials. The lubrication replenishment theory is important for the development of joint replacement materials, as most physiological joints operate under conditions of overlapping contact, meaning steady-state lubrication does not necessarily occur.

Graphical abstract: A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Jul 2020
Accepted
20 Sep 2020
First published
13 Oct 2020

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 10290-10300
Article type
Paper

A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels

E. Porte, P. Cann and M. Masen, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 10290
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM01236J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements