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Volume 19 , Issue 4
Fall 2005

Pages 331336

The Effect of Experimental Cartilage Damage and Impairment and Restoration of Synovial Lubrication on Friction in the Temporomandibular Joint

Eiji Tanaka, DDS, PhD / Tatsunori Iwabe, DDS, PhD / Diego A. Dalla-Bona, DDS / Nobuhiko Kawai, DDS / Theo van Eijden, MD, PhD / Masao Tanaka, PhD / Shoji Kitagawa, DDS, PhD / Graduate Student / Takashi Takata, DDS, PhD / Kazuo Tanne, DDS, PhD

PMID: 16279485

Aims: To evaluate how the frictional coefficient of the porcine temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is affected by an impairment of the synovial lubrication produced by an experimental abrasion of the articular cartilage and the application of hyaluronic acid (HA) with different molecular weights to the abraded cartilage surfaces. Methods: Erosion of the articular cartilage was produced by scouring it with sandpaper. Impairment and restoration of synovial lubrication were modeled by washing the joint space with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and by the application of HA with different molecular weights. After measuring the frictional coefficients in the intact TMJs (n = 10), the effects of washing with PBS, sandpaper scouring, and the application of HA were subsequently examined. Results: The mean frictional coefficient in the intact joint was 0.0154 (SD 0.0043). After PBS washing and sandpaper scouring, it increased significantly to 0.0235 (SD 0.0052) and 0.0520 (SD 0.0088), respectively. Subsequent application of HA resulted in a significant decrease (43% to 56%) of the frictional coefficient. Observations by scanning electron microscopy showed that after sandpaper scouring, the superficial cartilage layer was disrupted and inner layer was exposed, creating an irregular surface. Conclusion: Joint friction may increase by approximately 350% following an experimental scouring of the cartilage surface and impairment of synovial lubrication. Lubrication by means of HA decreased joint friction by approximately 50%.J Orofac Pain 2005;19:331336

Key words: frictional coefficient, hyaluronic acid, lubrication, osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint

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