Osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition that can cause a lot of pain and ultimately require the joint to be replaced. The importance of collagens and the many other biomolecules present at the articular surface has been recognised. However, relatively few studies focus on the molecular level understanding of collagen interactions and how collagen-based materials can be developed to target repair of the tissues in-situ. We run a joint research project with collaborators at Tianjin University, China, funded here by the Austria-China research exchange programme, of the OeAD. Our aim is to tackle the issue of relating molecular level properties and interactions (including with other biomolecules) with lubrication and wear properties.
Our collaborators have been working on synthesis of novel materials and we have welcomed Hui Yuan in our labs to test her material in our SFA. The collaboration has also focused on lubrication and wear protection provided by various biomolecules from synovial fluid in our recent publication (See Yuan et al https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c01581). Techniques such as surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy (SPR), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), neutron reflectivity (NR) and surface force apparatus (SFA) are invaluable to our study.GENERAL INFO:
Contact: Dr. Laura Mears