Characterization of Lubricity of Mucins at Polymeric Surfaces for Biomedical Applications
The lubricating properties of commercially available
mucins originating from different animal organs, namely bovine
submaxillary mucin (BSM) and porcine gastric mucin (PGM), have
been characterized at polymeric surfaces for biomedical applications.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and pin-on-disk tribometry have
been employed for tribological studies at nanoscale and macroscale
contacts, respectively. Polystyrene (PS) was employed to represent
‘rigid’ contacts, whereas poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was
employed to represent ‘soft contacts’. To understand the lubricating
properties of mucins in correlation with the coverage on surfaces,
adsorption properties of mucins onto the polymeric substrates have
been characterized by means of optical waveguide light-mode
spectroscopy (OWLS). Both mucins showed facile adsorption onto
both polymeric substrates, but the lubricity was highly dependent
upon the pH change between 2 and 7.