New type of plastic performs DIY repair

American researchers have created a plastic that can repair itself.

Until recently, only living organisms could regenerate following injury, but researchers from the University of Illinois have created a new plastic containing a novel system of vascular fibres, inspired by human blood vessels.

When damage occurs to the material, two types of regenerative chemical spill out of adjoining fibres and form a gel that hardens over the damaged section. Using this system, a 35 mm hole can be filled within twenty minutes, with full functionality restored in three hours.

The researchers hope that their new technology can be adapted to produce commercial plastic products that “re-grow” following damage.

Read more at University of Illinois