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Tribological characteristics of healthy tendon

Theobald, Peter ORCID:, Dowson, Duncan, Khan, Ilyas Mahmood and Jones, Michael David ORCID: 2012. Tribological characteristics of healthy tendon. Journal of Biomechanics. 45 (11) , pp. 1972-1978. 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.05.005

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Tendons transfer muscular forces efficiently and painlessly, facilitating joint motion. Whilst the tribology of articular cartilage is constantly explored, a poorer understanding remains of tendon lubrication and friction. This study reports experimental data describing the tribological characteristics of tendon and its surrounding tissue, before presenting an arithmetic solution to facilitate numerical modelling. The experimental characteristics of the tensile (i.e. mid-substance) and compressive (i.e. fibrocartilaginous) regions of bovine flexor tendon were investigated using a pin-on-plate tribometer, with immunofluroscence analysis describing the relative intensity and distribution of surface-bound lubricin. Arithmetic analysis considering the digital extensor tendon determined that, in physiological conditions, the tensile tendon region was able to generate elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL). The equivalent region of compressive tendon exhibited a higher intensity of surface-bound lubricin which, it is hypothesised, serves to minimise the increased frictional resistance due to generating only mixed or boundary lubrication regimes. Arithmetic analysis indicates that, given a more favourable biomechanical environment, this region can also generate EHL. Whilst acknowledging the limitations of transferring data from an animal model to a clinical environment, by providing the first data and equations detailing the film thicknesses and lubrication regime for these two tendon regions it is hoped that clinicians, engineers and scientists can consider improved clinical strategies to tackle both tendinopathy and tendon rupture.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Friction, Lubrication, Lubricin, Tendon, Tribology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0021-9290
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:44

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