Mucins provide extraordinary adhesion and lubrication properties on many different substrates. These properties make mucins very interesting for future biomimetic coatings and lubricants. Mucins lubricate a large number of different substrates while preventing wear, which makes them good candidates for future substrate coatings and lubricants. Two molecular mechanisms are known to lead to mucin-based lubrication: sacrificial layer formation and hydration lubrication.


However, it is still unknown how exactly the different mucin moieties promote adhesion and friction and how they affect the time dependence of these processes at the molecular scale. We use the AFM to understand the role of the different mucin moieties for their adhesion and friction properties and seek for a better understanding of complex molecules comprising different functional groups.


1. M. Marczynski, B.N. Balzer, K. Jiang, T. M. Lutz, T. Crouzier & O. Lieleg

Charged Glycan Residues Critically Contribute to the Adsorption and Lubricity of Mucins

Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 187, 110614 (2020).

2. B. Winkeljann, K. Boettcher, B.N. Balzer & O. Lieleg
Mucin Coatings Prevent Tissue Damage at the Cornea–Contact Lens Interface
Adv. Mater. Interfaces, 4 (19), 1700186 (2017).