Heal thyself: Polymer bleeds, heals


The concept of self-healing polymers isn't new, but a researcher says his proposed material, which combines repair and sensing attributes into one polymer that 'bleeds' when damaged and heals in sunlight, is novel.

Marek W. Urban, a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials in Hattiesburg, MS, initially published his findings in the journal, Nature Chemistry, in January 2012. That paper described a "reversible covalent reaction in which two oxygen-insensitive radicals combine to form a carbon-carbon bond provides the mechanism by which a polymer gel can self-heal at room temperature without the need for any external stimulus."
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