Self-Healing Materials with Microvascular Networks Image 1
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Self-Healing Materials with Microvascular Networks (Image 1)

July 2, 2010
Self-Healing Materials with Microvascular Networks (Image 1) Close-up image of one-half of a self-healing epoxy specimen after it has been fractured into two pieces. On the crack face, a healing agent (dyed red for clarity) is released from ruptured urea-formaldehyde microcapsules embedded in the epoxy. In nature, damage to an organism elicits a healing response. A research team led by Scott White, group leader for the Autonomous Materials Systems group at The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, decided to apply this concept to synthetic material design and have developed a self-healing polymer. Tiny capsules containing a healing agent are embedded in the polymer. When the material is damaged, the capsules rupture and release the healing agent, which repairs cracks. Further information about this new generation of bio-inspired healing materials is available Here. (Date of Image: 2004) [Image 1 of 5 related images. See Image 2.]

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