Title: Lubricating ability of albumin and globulin on artificial joint implants: a tribological perspective

Authors: Subir Ghosh; Dipankar Choudhury; Belinda Pingguan-Murphy

Addresses: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ' Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic ' Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Albumin and globulin proteins are dominant protein components in synovial fluid, and play important roles in the lubrication mechanism of joint prostheses. The present study investigated the lubricating ability of albumin and globulin on ceramic-on-polyethylene joint implants. A pin-on-disk tribometer was used for friction tests where the experimental condition was replicated with a simulated hip joint condition. The experiment was conducted under three lubricating conditions: bovine synovial fluid (BSF), albumin and globulin. Mechanical properties of specimens and physical properties of lubricant were measured before and after the tests. The experimental results show that albumin yielded a lower friction coefficient as compared to globulin. However, both exhibited a higher friction coefficient and wear rate than that of bovine synovial fluid. This study suggests that further tribological investigations on major biological components of synovial fluid should be carried out, which will help optimise implant design.

Keywords: albumin proteins; globulin proteins; friction coefficient; wear rate; tribology; lubrication; artificial joints; joint implants; synovial fluid; joint prostheses; ceramics; polyethylene; simulation; hip joints; implant design; bioengineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSURFSE.2016.076516

International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, 2016 Vol.10 No.2, pp.193 - 206

Received: 04 Jan 2015
Accepted: 22 Jan 2015

Published online: 11 May 2016 *

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