Cell adhesion and proliferation and protein expression on surfaces possessing different topographies and chemical characteristics are examined in the presence of mechanical stress. Results from earlier studies illustrate the significance of surface roughness and chemistry modification on endothelial cell adhesion and spreading on untreated and plasma-treated polyethylene surfaces. Furthermore, changes in the friction characteristics of bovine articular cartilage resulting from mechanotransduction are correlated with variations in the near-surface expression of a glycoprotein secreted from the chondrocytes in the superficial layer of the cartilage. Recent work indicates that this glycoprotein plays a crucial role in the formation of a sacrificial boundary layer that effectively lubricates the cartilage surface, protecting it from mechanical wear.

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