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Updated: Jun 17 2021

Synovium & Synovial Fluid

  • Synovium
    • Function
      • mediates nutrient exchange between blood and joint fluid
    • Composition
      • vascularized connective tissue is porous and lacks basement membrane
      • cell types
        • type A cells
          • derived from macrophages
          • non-fixed cells with antigen presenting ability
          • located in superficial layer
          • important in phagocytosis
        • type B cells
          • fibroblast like cells
          • rich rough endoplasmic reticulum and dendritic processes that reach out to the joint surface
          • located at various depths, frequently in deeper layer
          • produce synovial fluid
            • produce hyaluronic acid, fibronectin, collagen
        • type C cells
          • intermediate cell type
          • unknown function and origin
          • may serve as multi-potent precursor to either type A or B synovial cells
  • Synovial Fluid
    • Function
      • lubricates articular cartilage and provides nourishment through diffusion
    • Origin
      • made from a ultrafiltrate of blood plasma
        • regulated by synovium
          • healthy knee contains ~2mL of synovial fluid
    • Consists of
      • hyaluronin
        • uridine diphosphoglucose dehydrogenase enzyme critical for its synthesis
      • lubricin
        • a key lubricating glycoprotein
        • reduces coefficient of friction within the joint
      • proteinase
      • collagenases
      • prostaglandins
    • Biomechanics
      • synovial fluid exhibits non-Newtonian flow characteristics
        • the viscosity coefficient is not a constant
        • the fluid is not linearly viscous
        • viscosity increases as the shear rate decreases
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