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Lubrication at physiological pressures by polyzwitterionic brushes

By M. Chen, W.H. Briscoe, S.P. Armes and J. Klein


The very low sliding friction at natural synovial joints, which have friction coefficients of mu < 0.002 at pressures up to 5 megapascals or more, has to date not been attained in any human-made joints or between model surfaces in aqueous environments. We found that surfaces in water bearing polyzwitterionic brushes that were polymerized directly from the surface can have m values as low as 0.0004 at pressures as high as 7.5 megapascals. This extreme lubrication is attributed primarily to the strong hydration of the phosphorylcholine-like monomers that make up the robustly attached brushes, and may have relevance to a wide range of human-made aqueous lubrication situations

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Year: 2009
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