We seek to understand the molecular basis of lubrication under water, particularly in biological systems. Biolubrication is an area of enormous importance, for instance, for tissue engineering in regenerative medicine, where the interfacial properties of scaffolding materials have not been extensively explored, or in developing treatments for eye or joint diseases which depend crucially on the friction.
With the rapid advent of nanoscience and nanotechnology, the surface-to-volume ratio in devices and in nanostructured materials grows, and with it the importance of surface interactions as friction, normal forces and adhesion.
Surfaces and interfaces properties can be completely changed by even one molecular monolayer. We modify atomically-smooth test surfaces (mica) by various molecules to investigate their surface structure and function.