Interactions between Lubricin and Hyaluronic Acid Synergistically Enhance Antiadhesive Properties

Huijun Ye, Mingyu Han, Renliang Huang, Tannin A. Schmidt, Wei Qi, Zhimin He, Lisandra L. Martin, Gregory D. Jay, Rongxin Su, George W. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Preventing the unwanted adsorption of proteins and cells at articular cartilage surfaces plays a critical role in maintaining healthy joints and avoiding degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Immobilized at the surface of healthy articular cartilage is a thin, interfacial layer of macromolecules consisting mainly of hyaluronic acid (HA) and lubricin (LUB; a.k.a. PRG4) that is believed to form a co-adsorbed, composite film now known to exhibit synergistic tribological properties. Bioinspired by the composition of cartilage surfaces, composite layers of HA and LUB were grafted to Au surfaces and the antiadhesive properties were assessed using surface plasmon resonance and quartz crystal microbalance. A clear synergistic enhancement in antiadhesive properties was observed in the composite films relative to grafted HA and LUB layers alone. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) normal force measurements provide insight into the architecture of the HA/LUB composite layer and implicate a strong contribution of hydrophobic interactions in the binding of LUB end-domains directly to HA chains. These AFM force measurements indicate that the adhesion of LUB to HA is strong and indicate that the hydrophobic coupling of LUB to HA shields the hydrophobic domains in these molecules from interactions with other proteins or molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18090-18102
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019


  • antiadhesive
  • coating
  • hyaluronic acid
  • lubricin
  • PRG4
  • synergy

Cite this