Rheological properties of synovial fluids

Biorheology. 2007;44(2):59-74.


Synovial fluid is the joint lubricant and shock absorber [Semin. Arthritis Rheum. 32 (2002), 10-37] as well as the source of nutrition for articular cartilage. The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the rheological properties of synovial fluid as they relate to its chemical composition. Given its importance in the rheology of synovial fluid, an overview of the structure and rheology of HA (hyaluronic acid) is presented first. The rheology of synovial fluids is discussed in detail, with a focus on the possible diagnosis of joint pathology based on the observed differences in rheological parameters and trends. The deterioration of viscoelastic properties of synovial fluid in pathological states due to effects of HA concentration and molecular weight is further described. Recent findings pertaining to the composition and rheology of periprosthetic fluid, the fluid that bathes prosthetic joints in vivo are reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / physiology
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Rheology
  • Synovial Fluid / physiology*


  • Hyaluronic Acid