Lubrication is key for the efficient function of devices and tissues with moving surfaces, such as articulating joints, ocular surfaces and the lungs. Indeed, lubrication dysfunction leads to increased friction and degeneration of these systems. Here, we present a polymer–peptide surface coating platform to non-covalently bind hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural lubricant in the body. Tissue surfaces treated with the HA-binding system exhibited higher lubricity values, and in vivo were able to retain HA in the articular joint and to bind ocular tissue surfaces. Biomaterials-mediated strategies that locally bind and concentrate HA could provide physical and biological benefits when used to treat tissue-lubricating dysfunction and to coat medical devices.
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