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A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels

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Title: A lubrication replenishment theory for hydrogels
Authors: Porte, E
Cann, P
Masen, M
Item Type: Journal Article
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.
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance: 20-Sep-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/83865
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM01236J
ISSN: 1744-683X
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Start Page: 10290
End Page: 10300
Journal / Book Title: Soft Matter
Volume: 16
Issue: 16
Copyright Statement: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Keywords: Chemical Physics
02 Physical Sciences
03 Chemical Sciences
09 Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://doi.org/10.1039/D0SM01236J
Online Publication Date: 2020-10-13
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering

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