Liz Feeney placed 3rd in the PhD Student Paper Competition at the Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference (SB3C) for her paper entitled “Inﬂammatory and Non-Inﬂammatory Synovial Fluids Exhibit Distinct Tribological Phenotypes.” Her work compared the lubricating behavior of synovial fluid from patients with inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis. She found that a sub-population of patients with inflammatory arthritis had unusually poor lubricating properties and that this population was also deficient in lubricin, a glycoprotein found in synovial fluid and on the surface of cartilage. Synovial fluid from this unusual population of patients did not benefit from the addition of hyaluronic acid, a commonly used injectable arthritis therapy.
Results from this study can be used to better understand the basic process of cartilage lubrication and to inform targeted therapies for specific populations of arthritis patients. Congratulations to Liz and her co-authors!