Self-Healing Material Activated By Water

This new self-healing bioplastic material is able to put itself back together with just a drop of water. As a material, it could have tremendous potential in undersea cabling as well as in medical devices  – and basically anywhere where gaining access to repair damage is difficult.

Developed at Pennsylvania State University, this innovative bioplastic can be moulded easily into a string or a rope. When cut, wetting the material allows it to be simply pressed back together again.

Self-healing materials are nothing new and you can explore many in Materia’s collection including Autoheal these self-healing polymers. However, what makes these plastics unique is their ability to stick back together with something as simple as a drop of water. “There are other materials that are self healing, but not with water,” says Penn State professor Melik Demirel.

The team at Penn State were inspired by the teeth of squid which are, interestingly, self-healing by nature.  Instead of simply using squid teeth in their material design however, the team recreated the proteins and bacteria present naturally in squid teeth.

You can watch an amazing video of this self-healing material in action here.