Self-Healing Plastic Repairs Itself When Exposed To Light

Self-Healing Plastic Repairs Itself When Exposed To Light

Researchers at the American Chemical Society introduced a material that mimics human blood cells.

Emma Hutchings
  • 29 march 2012

A new plastic that bleeds and heals like human skin was demonstrated to the American Chemical Society this week. The plastic turns red when it becomes damaged, then repairs itself if exposed to light or temperature changes, with the color fading away as it heals itself. The plastic is comprised of “molecular bridges” that connect it together, which break down when damage occurs but are able to fill in any gaps. This self-healing material would have numerous applications, from consumer goods and gadgets to car and aircraft components. Professor Marek W. Urban from the University of Southern Mississippi presented the research and said:

Mother Nature has endowed all kinds of biological systems with the ability to repair themselves. Our new plastic tries to mimic nature, issuing a red signal when damaged and then renewing itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH changes.

American Chemical Society


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