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New type of self-repairing plastic acts like skin, 'bleeds' and 'heals', doesn't require a bandaid

New self-repairing plastic is like human skin, can 'bleed' and 'heal'
By Anthony Garreffa from Mar 28, 2012 @ 23:25 CDT

A slow golf clap by myself is being done for some researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi, where they've developed a new type of plastic that can mimic human skin. Yes, it mimics the skin on your body. It was presented at an annual meeting of the American Chemical Society on Monday, where the material turns red when damaged, and can self-heal if simply put into some light.




Researcher and professor, Marek W. Urban, who reported on the development in San Diego this week says:


Mother Nature has endowed all kinds of biological systems with the ability to repair themselves. Some we can see, like the skin healing and new bark forming in cuts on a tree trunk.


The new technology behind the plastic is made from water-based copolymers, which are said to be more environmentally-friendly than other plastics and contains small molecular links referred to as "bridges" that span the length of the material. If the item is damaged, bridges break and form a red splotch around the "injury".


Once this happens, the material can self-heal by being placed in the sun, or another source of intense light, as well as being introduced to changes in temperature or pH. This new plastic can heal itself indefinitely. There's no word on when this would be available, or even if it would become mainstream, but it's exciting nonetheless.


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