Self-healing soft material outsmarts nature

Nanowerk  July 27, 2020
Current self-healing materials have shortcomings such as low healing strength and long healing times limit their practical application. An international team of researchers (USA – State University of Pennsylvania, Germany, Turkey) studied the molecular structure and amino acid sequences of squid proteins and developed a new stretchable biosynthetic material using protein engineering. The squid takes longer to heal because the molecular structure of the proteins inside its tentacles is not perfectly intertwined. With the laboratory-developed squid-inspired material, the scientists changed the nanostructure of the molecules until they created crosslinks between all of them in such a way, they can program the self-healing properties. The material is stronger than other natural and synthetic soft materials, heals within seconds, physical crosslinks are reversible…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

A hole seals itself. Credit: MPI for Intelligent Systems

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