Engineering Transactions, 49, 2-3, pp. 315–358, 2001

Liquid Crystalline Properties of Synovial Fluid

E. Szwajczak
Rzeszow University of Technology

A. Kucaba-Piętal
Rzeszow University of Technology

J.J. Telega
Polish Academy of Sciences

The main aim of this paper is to discuss the liquid crystalline concept of synovial fluid. This new concept was proposed by KUPCHINOV [30] and was next developed in [31, 32, 58]. According to these papers, the crystalline structure of synovia ensures very low friction coefficient in human (and animal) joints. Experimental data in favour of crystalline structure of synovia have been discussed. Mathematical model of such fluid, based on ERINGEN'S theory [14, 15], has been advanced.
Full Text: PDF
Copyright © Polish Academy of Sciences & Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (IPPT PAN).


A. ADAMCZYK, Singular state of matter – liquid crystals [in Polish], Omega – Wiedza Powszechna, Warsaw 1979.

A. ADAMCZYK, Fundamental structures and defects in liquid crystals, SPIE Liquid and Solid State Crystals: Physics, Technology and Applications, 1845, 2–15, 1992.

A. ATESHIAN, H. WANG, W.M. LAI, The role of intersitial fluid pressurization and surface porosities on the boundary friction of articular cartilage, Trans. ASME, J. Tribology, 120, 2, 241–251, 1998.

N.M. BACHRACH, V.C. MOW, F. GUILAK, Incompressibility of the solid matrix of articular cartillage under high hydrostatic pressures, J. Biomech., 31, 445–451, 1998.

J. BAJC, G. HILLIG, A. SAUPE, Determination of elastic constants and rotational viscosity of micellar liquid crystals by conductivity measurements, J. Chem. Phys., 106, 17, 7372–7346, 1997.

E.D. BELOYENKO, O.L. EISMONT, L.A. PASHKEVICH, S.F. ERMAKOV, Synthetic lubricants based on liquid crystals to modify synovial fluid properties, II Symp. Eng. Orthop. Protec. – IOP'99, Bialystok, 19–26, 1999.

L.M. BLINOV, Electro- and magnetooptics of liquid crystals [in Russian], Moscow "Science" – Editorial Office of Mathematical and Physical Literature, Moscow 1978.

G.H. BROWN, J.J. WOLKEN, Liquid crystals and biological structures [in Russian], Academic Press, New York – San Francisco – London, Jovanovich Publishers, 1979; [Ed.] Mir, Moscow 1982.

H. CHIKAMA, The role of protein and hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid in animal joint lubrication [in Japanese], J. Jap. Orth. Asc., 59, 5, 559–572, 1985.

CIBA-GEIGY Catologue, GmbH Wehr/Baden 1999.

P.G. de GENNES, The physics of liquid crystals, Oxford University Press, New York 1993.

D. DOWSON, Bio-tribology of natural and replacement synovial joinnts, [In:] Biomechanics of Diarthrodial Joints, vol. II, V C. MOW, S.L.-Y. Woo, A. RATCLIFFE [Eds.], pp. 305–345, Springer Verlag, N. Y. – Berlin 1990.

J.L. ERICKSEN, Continuum theory of liquid crystals of nematic type, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 7, 153–164, 1969.

C.A. ERINGEN, Theory of micropolar fluids, J. Math. Mech., 16, 1, 1–18, 1966.

C.A. ERINGEN, A unified continuum theory of liquid crystals, ARI – Bulletin of the Technical University of Istanbul, 50, 73–84, 1997.

C.A. ERINGEN, A unified continuum theory for electrodynamic of polymeric liquid crystals, Int. J. Eng. Sci., 38, 959–987, 2000.

S.F. ERMAKOV, Modern concepts on biomechanics of synovia [in Russian], Mekhanika Komp. Mat., 4, 539–556, 1992.

S.F. ERMAKOV, Biomechanics of synovia. I. Modern concepts of friction, wear and lubrication of joints [in Russian], Trenye i Iznos, 14, 1092–1110, 1993.

S.F. ERMAKOV, B.I. KUPCHINOV, E.D. BELOENKO, A.A. SUSLOV, O.L. EISMONT, The effect of liquid crystals on tribomechanical properties of cartilages, II Symp. Engng. Orthop. Protec. — IOP'99, Bialystok, 93–99, 1999.

F.C. FRANK, Liquid crystals. On the theory of liquid crystals, Discussions Faraday Soc., 25, 19–28, 1958.

Y.C. FUNG, Biomechanics: mechanical properties of living tissues, Springer Verlag, 220–241, New York 1993.

M. GIRAUD-GUILLE, Liquid crystalline order of biopolimers in cuticles and bones, Microscopy Res. Technique, 27, 5, 420–438, 1994.

W.Y. GU, W.M. LAI, V.C. MOW, A mixture theory for charged-hydrated soft tissues containing multi-electrolytes: passive transport and swelling behaviors, J. Biomech. Engng., 120, 169–180, 1998.

J.S. Hou, M.H. HOLMES, W.M. LAI, V.C. MOW, Boundary conditions at the cartilage synovial fluid interface for joint lubrication and theoretical verifications, Trans. ASME, J. Biom. Engng., 78, 111, 78–87, 1989.

J.M. HUYGHE, Intra-extrafibrillar mixture formulation of soft charged hydrated tissues, J. Theor. Appl. Mech., 3, 37, 519–36, 1999.

S. JEMIOŁO, J.J. TELEGA, Representations of tensor functions and applications in continuum mechanics, IFTR Reports, 3/1997.

M. HLAVACEK, D. VOKOUN, The influence of articular surface incongruity on lubrication and contact pressure distribution of loaded synovial joints, Proc. Instn. Mech. Engrs. H, 212, 11–22, 1998.

Y. KOBAYASHI, A. OKAMOTO, K. NISHINARI, Viscoelasticity of hyaluronic acid with different molecular weights (synovial fluid application), Biorheology, 31, 3, 235–44, 1994.

A. KUCABA–PIĘTAL, Modeling of the lubrication mechanism in human joints using micropolar fluid theory, J. Theor. Appl Mech., 37, 3, 593–606, 1999.

B.I. KUPCHINOV, Tribological aspects of joint functioning [in Russian], Trenye i Iznos, 10, 1013–1018, 1989.

B.I. KUPCHINOV, S.F. ERMAKOV, E.D. BIELOENKO, Biotribology of synovial joints [in Russian], NANB – MZRB, Wiedy, Minsk 1997.

B.I. KUPCHINOV, W.G. RODNIENKOV, S.F. ERMAKOV, Introduction in liquid crystals tribology [in Russian], IMMS ANB, "Informtribo", Gomel 1993.

W.M. LAI, W. GU, V.C. MOW, Flow of electrolytes through charged hydrated biological tissues, Appl. Mech. Rev., 47, 6, 2, 277–281, 1994.

F.M. LESLIE, Viscometry on nematic liquid crystals, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 63, 11–128, 1981.

G. ŁUKASZEWICZ, Micropolar fluids. Theory and application, Birkhäuser, Berlin 1999.

J.D. MARGERUM, L.J. MILLER, Electro-optical applications of liquid crystals, J. Colloid. Interf. Sci., 58, 3, 559–581, 1977.

M. Mięsowicz, Liquid crystals research in Poland during last 50-th years [in Polish], Postępy Fizyki, 26, 129–139, 1975.

N.P. MIGOUN, P.P. PROHORENKO, Hydrodynamics and heat transfer of gradient flows of micropolar fluids [in Russian], Science and Technology, Mińsk 1984.

V.C. MOW, G.A. ATESHIAN, Lubrication and wear of diathrodial joints, [In:] Basic Orthopaedic Biomechanics, V. C. MOW and W. C. HAYES [Eds.], Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 275–315, Philadelphia 1997.

V.C. MOW, A. RATCLIFFE, Structure and function of articular cartilage and meniscus, [In:] Basic Orthopaedic Biomechanics, V.C. MOW and W.C. HAYES [Eds.], Lippincot-Raven Publishes, 113–177, Philadelphia 1997.

T. MURAKAMI, H. HIGAKI, Y. SAWAE, N. OHTSUKI, S. MORIYAMA, Y. NAKANISHI, Adaptive multimode lubrication in natural synovial joints and artificial joints, Proc. Instn. Mech. Engrs., 212 H, 23–35, 1998.

S. NEGAMI, Dynamic mechanical properties of synovial fluid, M. Sc Thesis, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA 1964.

K.M. NIGAM, K. MANOHAR, S. JAGGI, Micropolar fluid film lubrication between two parallel plates with reference to human joints, Int. J. Mech. Sci., 24, 11, 661–671, 1982.

C.W. OSEEN, Theory of liquid crystals, Trans. Faraday Soc., 29, 883–889, 1933.

R. PETHIG, Dielectric properties of biological materials: biophysical and medical applications, IEE Trans. Electr. Insul., EI–19, 5, 453–474, 1984.

P.P. PURSLOW, T.J. WESS, D.W.L. HUKINS, Collagen orientation and molecular spacing during creep and stress–relaxation in soft connective tissues, J. Exp. Biology, 201, 135–142, 1998.

E. RADZIKOWSKA, Micropolar liquid crystal subjected to electromagnetic interactions, J. Tech. Phys., 35, 1–2, 109–112, 1994.

V.G. RODNENKOV, B.I. KUPCHINOV, Tribological properties of liquid crystalline cholesterine compounds [in Russian], Trenye i Iznos, 21, 41–46, 2000.

C. RYMARZ, Mechanics of continuous media [in Polish], Polish Scientific Publishers, (PWN), Warszawa 1999.

A. RYNIEWICZ, The lubrication mechanism in the unerring functioning of the human hip joint, Acta Bioeng. and Biomech., 1, 1, 401–406, 1999.

G.P. SINHA, M.N. ALIEV, Dielectric spectroscopy of liquid crystals in smectic, nematic and isotropic phase confined in random porous media, Phys. Rev. E. Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids & Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 50, 2, 2001–2010, 1998.

P.C. SINHA, C. SINGH, Lubrication of rough surfaces – a microcontinuum analysis, Wear, 82, 619–629, 1982.

P.C. SINHA, C. SINGH, K.R. PRASAD, Lubrication of human joints – a microcontinuum approach, Wear, 80, 159–181, 1982.

A.S. SONIN, Inorganic lyotropic liquid crystals, J. Mater. Chem., 8, 2557–2574, 1998.

M.J. STEPHEN, J.P. STRAHLEY, Physics of liquid crystals, Rev. Mod. Phys., 46, 617–704, 1974.

E. SZWAJCZAK, Transport of ions in nematic and smectic liquid crystalline materials [in Polish], Ph. D. Thesis, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland 1983.

E. SZWAJCZAK, Liquid crystals in medicine — selected aspects [in Polish], Proceedings of 3rd Symposium: Mechanics in Medicine, 279–288, Rzeszów 1998.

E. SZWAJCZAK, A. KUCABA-PIĘTAL, Problems of modeling of lubrication processes in synovial joints in the light of current experimental results [in Polish], Procedings of XI Conf.: Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering, C–3, 601–606, 1999.59. J.J. TELEGA, R. WOJNAR, Cartilage as an anisotropic multiphase material, Acta Bioeng. Biomech., 1, Suppl. 1, 499–502, 1999.

A. GAŁKA, J.J. TELEGA, R. WOJNAR, Modelling electric and elastic properties of cartilage, Engng. Trans., 49, 2–3, 283–313, 2001.

B. WAŻYŃSKA, Reentrant nematic phase in systems compoused by smectics A1 [in Polish], Research Bulletin of the Warsaw University of Technology — Engng. Mat., 9, 5–29, 1998.

DOI: 10.24423/engtrans.562.2001