Researchers develop self-healing polymeric materials

Researchers surveyed some creatures in the animal kingdom and found that they had the ability to replicate body parts and heal, hoping to bring it to medical help. For example, geckos can lose their tails and grow them again, and starfish that can regenerate their arms. Researchers from the Islamic Research Group, Carnegie Mellon University’s Metamorphic Laboratory and the Kawahara Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, have created a self-healing UI.

Self-healing UI is a soft interface that repairs self-healing, refactoring and fusion without external stimulation and glue. The key to self-healing UI is a composite material consisting of a self-healing polymer polyboronic silane (PBS) and a multi-wall carbon nanotube filler called MWCNTs-PBS. The material has mechanical and electrical self-healing capabilities. The researchers developed a hybrid model that combines PBS and MWCNTs-PB, as well as other common soft materials such as fabrics and silicones, to create an interface with self-healing, sensing, and drive capabilities. The team says its envisaged controller device can dynamically change its shape and number of modules. In the test, the team was able to cut the two controllers into four pieces and make them work as four and a half-size game devices, each with a touch sensor. Once used, these four parts can be stitched together into the original two controllers. At the same time, the team was able to create a self-healing damage sensor matrix as a second layer of skin. The technology has also been developed into a traditional pneumatic soft actuator that can be cut and reconfigured. In the figure, you can see a “healing heart” characterized by an embedded LED assembly and an internal MWCNTs-PB cutting sensor. The heart can detect when it is cut in half and when the halves are combined, it can fully heal within six hours.

Researchers develop self-healing polymeric materials