On the quest of finding the surface of articular cartilage
The primary role of articular cartilage (AC) is to provide a smooth lubricated surface between contacting and moving bones, which allows for ultralow friction as well as wear protection to the sliding epiphysis for almost a century in healthy people. The physical and chemical nature of the topmost surface of AC has intrigued researchers since it was first reported in 1951, called the “lamina splendens”. This layer has been the source of heated and controversial scientific debate since it was first reported. The lamina splendens is important because it forms the interfaces between the cartilage and synovial fluid, the natural lubricant of synovial joints. Its critical location in the joint implicates it in the lubrication, wear protection, and load distribution of the articular cartilage. Despite decades of research, precise knowledge of the structure of the cartilage surface remains elusive. In this talk, I will discuss molecular interactions of various synovial fluid and its components (e.g., lubricin, hyaluronan, serum albumin) with model surfaces, to reveal physical and chemical properties of the lamina splendens.