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The hydration lubrication paradigm, whereby hydration layers are both strongly held by the charges they surround, and so can support large pressures without being squeezed out, and at the same time remain very rapidly relaxing and so have a fluid response to shear, provides a framework for understanding, controlling, and designing very efficient boundary lubrication systems in aqueous and biological media. This review discusses the properties of confined water, which—unlike organic solvents—retains its fluidity down to molecularly thin films. It then describes lubrication by hydrated ions trapped between charged surfaces, and by other hydrated boundary species including charged and zwitterionic polymer brushes, surfactant monolayers, liposomes, and biological macromolecules implicated in synovial joint lubrication. Finally, challenges and prospects for future development of this new boundary lubrication approach are considered.


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Hydration lubrication

Show Author's information Jacob KLEIN( )
Department of Materials & Interfaces, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

Abstract

The hydration lubrication paradigm, whereby hydration layers are both strongly held by the charges they surround, and so can support large pressures without being squeezed out, and at the same time remain very rapidly relaxing and so have a fluid response to shear, provides a framework for understanding, controlling, and designing very efficient boundary lubrication systems in aqueous and biological media. This review discusses the properties of confined water, which—unlike organic solvents—retains its fluidity down to molecularly thin films. It then describes lubrication by hydrated ions trapped between charged surfaces, and by other hydrated boundary species including charged and zwitterionic polymer brushes, surfactant monolayers, liposomes, and biological macromolecules implicated in synovial joint lubrication. Finally, challenges and prospects for future development of this new boundary lubrication approach are considered.

Keywords:

hydration lubrication, biolubrication, boundary lubrication, liposomes, polymer brushes, hydration repulsion, hydration layers
Received: 28 November 2012 Revised: 21 January 2013 Accepted: 25 January 2013 Published: 26 March 2013 Issue date: March 2013
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Publication history
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Publication history

Received: 28 November 2012
Revised: 21 January 2013
Accepted: 25 January 2013
Published: 26 March 2013
Issue date: March 2013

Copyright

© The author(s) 2013

Acknowledgements

I thank my students, post-docs, collaborators and colleagues, both past and present, too numerous to list here by name, for their contributions to the work described in this review. I thank the European Research Council (Advanced Grant HydrationLube), the McCutchen Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Israel) and the Weizmann-UK Research Program (supported by Weizmann Friends in the UK) for their support of this work.

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