Congratulations to Rebecca Irwin and her co-authors on their accepted manuscript in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage titled “Distinct tribological endotypes of pathological human synovial fluid reveal characteristics biomarkers and variation in efficacy of viscosupplementation at reducing local strains in articular cartilage.” This study identified tribological endotypes of synovial fluid from arthritic patients. Specifically, tribological endotypes were distinguished by elevated friction coefficients, cartilage tissue strains, and lubricating efficacy of viscosupplements. Across all synovial fluid samples, aberrant lubricating behavior was associated with changes in lubricin and inflammatory biomarkers (polymorphonuclear neutrophil composition and IL-8). Previous studies have identified synovial fluid phenotypes based on expression of biomarkers, but this is the first study to link such compositional features to lubricating function. Further, the variability in response of these phenotypes to viscosupplementation may give new insight into how biomarker expression can be used to inform treatment for arthritis patients.
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