Kinetics of aqueous lubrication in the hydrophilic hydrogel Gemini interface

Alison C. Dunn, Angela A. Pitenis, Juan M. Urueña, Kyle D. Schulze, Thomas E. Angelini, W. Gregory Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The exquisite sliding interfaces in the human body share the common feature of hydrated dilute polymer mesh networks. These networks, especially when they constitute a sliding interface such as the pre-corneal tear film on the ocular interface, are described by the molecular weight of the polymer chains and a characteristic size of a minimum structural unit, the mesh size, Î3/4. In a Gemini interface where hydrophilic hydrogels are slid against each other, the aqueous lubrication behavior has been shown to be a function of sliding velocity, introducing a sliding timescale competing against the time scales of polymer fluctuation and relaxation at the surface. In this work, we examine two recent studies and postulate that when the Gemini interface slips faster than the single-chain relaxation time, chains must relax, suppressing the amplitude of the polymer chain thermal fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-894
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Hydrogel
  • friction
  • mesh size
  • polyacrylamide
  • tribology of materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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