By in Science

Plastic that Bleeds: Another Implementation of Biomimetic Design

Biomimicry or Biomimetics imitates elements of nature to solve human problems. And why not! Nature has been successful at finding solutions for numerous enigmas. Imitating nature has led to many inventions in technology and has even inspired bionics. One of the latest inventions is a plastic that has self-healing abilities.

By mimicking the vascular system of the human body, this new plastic can “clot” a puncture of scratch. The plastic contains a network of tubes that run through it. Within the tubes are two separate gels. When they are mixed together, by being cut or injured; they mix together to form a new surface. It may not be as tough as the original but it’s about 60 percent as strong. Another version of plastic that repairs itself, was demonstrated by the American Chemical Society. Professor Marek W. Urban said, “Our new plastic tries to mimic nature, issuing a red signal when damaged and then renewing itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH changes.”

These new plastics have the ability to ‘clot’ small holes. And more than that they amaze us with all the possibilities for the future. They could repair a scratch on the finish of an automobile or repair bridges, aircraft and skyscrapers. What was once difficult to impossible to repair, can soon become as natural and elementary, as say, nature.

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Feisty56 wrote on August 10, 2015, 11:28 AM

I'll be the first to confess I am sometimes a dullard when it comes to imagining the possible applications for technology such as this. I agree it is amazing and do hope its applications will be a boon to humankind. I am guessing our "resident" chemist, VinceSummers could speak more intelligently about this than I.

Kasman wrote on August 10, 2015, 12:04 PM

This has obvious uses in situations where humans find it difficult or impossible to go - satellites in space, deep under water or in the heart of nuclear power stations for example - and once the 2nd or 3rd generation of these materials becomes available perhaps even applications in medicine.

By the way you need to upgrade your image credits. 'Image by Pixabay' is not sufficient to satisfy Persona Paper's site rules - a link back to the image source is required. The correct link for the image on this post is by PublicDomain Pictures and this must be included as the image credit. If you use PPs Image Wizard to place Pixabay images in your posts this is done automatically for you. You need to read the FAQs (link at the top of every page) especially the part concerning image credits. You may also want to read this post by MaeLou on what Persona Paper requires of image credits. You may also find this post will be of help to you. PPs site rules state that ALL images must be properly credited and a link to the source must be provided. Failure to follow these rules may result in you not being paid for your work - wouldn't want you to fall foul of a rule you didn't know about!

VinceSummers wrote on August 10, 2015, 1:48 PM

Interesting, . Biomimetics is nothing new. And it is one of those fields of interest in which humans demonstrate they aren't a flat-out 100% stupid. Humans all too often demonstrate they think they're pretty clever. But they are only clever when they come to realize there are things (hard to believe, I know) that are above them. Some of the best evidence out there to disprove the stupidity of the Big Bang.