Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Lubrication: A Physicist's View
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Many parts of living organisms (e.g. joints, eyes in humans) undergo sliding and transmit shear stresses to cells within the adjoining matrices which may then respond in various ways. These stresses depend crucially on the friction at the sliding interfaces, and thus on the nature of the friction at such surfaces. We consider here the molecular origins of biological lubrication mechanisms, in particular hydration lubrication, and discuss recent findings on the role of phospholipids in such processes.