Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIOLUBRICATION (Oral Biolubrication and Bioadsorption from Multiphased Complex Fluids)

The project has advanced the fundamental mechanistic understanding of lubrication by saliva. It was found that lubrication by saliva is due to formation of a composite matrix consisting of a highly hydrated layer formed by complexes of mucins with lower molecular weight proteins. It was established that the complex layer forms a self-grafting brush-like structure comprising of an extended layer of mucins which is compacted with lower molecular weight proteins. It is also established that lubrication by mucin alone is inferior to that of whole saliva due to bridging effects and low surface stability that makes it susceptible to wear under rubbing conditions.

The project utilised a combination of techniques to elucidate this behaviour, such as Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM-D), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and soft contact tribology as well as biochemical analysis techniques such as 2D-PAGE electrophoresis and gel size exclusion chromatography. It is anticipated that the physicochemical principles developed within this project to describe biolubrication should enable the fabrication of biomimetic coatings with enhanced lubrication. The technologies and molecular insights can be leveraged with industrial relevant applications involving bio-surfactants, food grade polysaccharides such as pectins, gums, and starches.

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United Kingdom
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