December 7, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

How Your Joints Auto-Lubricate Themselves

Motion sets up an automated process that produces more lubricant for the joints, scientists at UC San Diego found.  EurekAlert explains how shear forces on cartilage stimulated it to produce proteoglycan 4, which secretes joint fluid where it coats and lubricates cartilage surfaces.  This way, the fluid is produced according to the need of the moment.
    The team was trying to learn how nature does it, in order to improve artificial joints with cartilage transplants.  One team member explained, “We are systematically addressing the technical challenges to maintain and grow healthy fragments of bone and cartilage in the laboratory and now we can use nature’s self-regulating system, whereby application of shear forces to this tissue increases its synthesis of proteoglycan 4.” 

Another example of scientific research that seeks to help people, and owes nothing to evolutionary theory.  The assumption that the healthy body is well-designed produces the best science.

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Categories: Amazing Facts, Human Body

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