Articular cartilage is unique in that it maintains an incredibly low coefficient of friction against cartilage countersurfaces, which occurs in healthy articular joints. When injury or damage occurs, this natural system is upset such that further wear and damage ultimately occurs within the joint. Our study focused on the use of novel, synthetic plugs to replace these cartilage defects. The study compared different synthetic materials in a cartilage repair model to see which one exhibited the most ideal tribological properties and minimized wear of the opposing native cartilage surface. We also wanted to elucidate mechanisms (i.e. shearing and sliding forces) responsible for articular cartilage wear against these materials in order to develop optimal repair strategies and wear prevention.