The surface amorphous layer of articular cartilage is of primary importance to its load-bearing and lubrication function. This lipid-filled layer is degraded/disrupted or eliminated when cartilage degenerates due to diseases. This article examines further the characteristic of this surface overlay using a combination of microscopy and imaging methods to evaluate the hypothesis that the surface of articular cartilage can be repaired by exposing degraded cartilage to aqueous synthetic lipid mixtures. The preliminary results demonstrate that it is possible to create a new surface layer of phospholipids on the surface of cartilage following artificial lipid removal, but such a layer does not possess enough mechanical strength for physiological function when created with either unsaturated palmitoyloleoyl- phosphatidylcholine or saturated dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine component of joint lipid composition alone. We conclude that this may be due to low structural cohesivity, inadequate time of exposure, and the mix/content of lipid in the incubation environment
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