"Current self-healing materials have shortcomings that limit their practical application, such as low healing strength and long healing times (hours)," the researcher report in today's issue of Nature Materials. The researchers produced high-strength synthetic proteins that mimic those found in nature. Like the creatures they are patterned on, the proteins can self-heal both minute and visible damage. "Our goal is to create self-healing programmable materials with unprecedented control over their physical properties using synthetic biology," said Melik Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics and holder of the Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Biomimetic Materials. Robotic machines from industrial robotic arms and prosthetic legs have joints that move and require a soft material that will accommodate this movement.
The future of mending clothes may require one less tailor and one extra squid. In a new development, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered healing properties in the proteins from squid ring teeth that can self-repair some fabrics. According to the team, this technology can be applied to create chemically protective suits that protect farmers from pesticide exposure, factory workers from toxic ingredients and soldiers from chemical and biological attacks. "Fashion designers use natural fibers made of proteins like wool or silk that are expensive and they are not self-healing," said Melik C. Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, in a statement. "We were looking for a way to make fabrics self-healing using conventional textiles.
Clothing could soon have the ability to repair itself when damaged – all you need to do is add water. Scientists have designed a new water-repellent material that when scratched and submerged in water, will shed off the top layer to reveal an unscathed surface underneath. The team foresees the innovation being used in a range of applications including rain gear, medical instruments and self-cleaning car windows. Nanograss consists of tiny needle-like projections sticking straight up. To demonstrate the invention, researcher scratched the coating and submerged the material in water, which then seeped into the cut and dissolved the polymer.
Clothing of the future could have the ability to repair itself after a tear – all you need to do is add water. Researchers have developed a coating for textiles that can heal itself, and neutralize harmful chemicals. They say this could one day be used to make chemically protective suits, helping to keep everyone from soldiers to farmers safe from toxic materials. Clothing of the future could have the ability to repair itself after a tear – all you need to do is add water. Polyelectrolytes coating is composed of positively and negatively charged polymers.
Plastics may be replaced with a material made from the razor-sharp circular teeth found on a squid's tentacle sucker pad. The natural protein is created by the animal and can be made into fibres and films for a range of uses, including smart materials and self-healing recyclable fabrics. Scientists claim these materials are eco-friendly, biodegradable and sustainable. The key protein was discovered in the ring teeth of squid - circular predatory appendages on the suction cups located on the animal's tentacles. A method has now been developed which allows the protein to be created by manipulating bacteria to avoid harming the cephalopods.