Leibniz MMS Days 2017 - Abstract
I discuss recent theoretical advances to describe compressive and shear forces of polymer-brush bilayers, which consist of two opposing brushes in contact. Such model systems for polymer-brush lubrication frequently are used as a benchmark to gain insight into biological problems, e.g., synovial joint lubrication. Based on scaling theory, I derive conformational and collective properties of polymer-brush bilayers in equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium situations, such as shear forces in the linear and nonlinear response regime of stationary shear and under non-stationary shear. Furthermore, I discuss the influence of macromolecular inclusions and electrostatic interactions on polymer-brush lubrication. The theoretical predictions are compared to experimental and numerical data.