Research Topic

Surface Design for Biotribological Contacts

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About this Research Topic

Product development for health care, sports and medical applications frequently involves the design or redesign of bio-tribological systems to control friction and wear characteristics. Surface design in relation to the functional performance is therefore crucial. New surface designs are needed to further ...

Product development for health care, sports and medical applications frequently involves the design or redesign of bio-tribological systems to control friction and wear characteristics. Surface design in relation to the functional performance is therefore crucial. New surface designs are needed to further improve the tribological behavior of systems that operate inside the human body such as a knee implant, tooth restorations or needles and stents. For bio-tribological systems that operate outside the human body this is equally important as it typically forms the interface of the product with the user and as such determines the perception of products. Examples include medical textiles, contact lenses, artificial grass fields, and shavers.

This research topic gives an overview of current developments in surface design for biotribological systems. It focuses on tribological phenomena occurring at the interface between product surfaces that operate inside the human body or between living tissue and product surfaces. Within this theme, research on contact models is an important aspect and might be conducted focusing on the viscoelastic response of human tissue, on tissue deformation at the scale of mechanoreceptors, and on the thermal aspects of interacting asperities in sliding contacts. Boundary layers present at the interacting surfaces have a dominant role in the frictional response of human tissue. Tribo-chemical modeling, enabling chemical and mechanical engineers to explain and predict chemical and physio-chemical changes of surfaces due to the tribological action, is a key scientific challenge in this. Creating preferable surface topology and materials (through coatings or in bulk) is another area of surface design linked to the tribological performance. Characterization methodologies to understand and optimize the functionality of surfaces within their intended environment is important as well.


Keywords: Friction, Wear, Biotribology, Surface, Texture


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