There is once again another proof for reality beating fiction by far. Scientists have succeeded to transit one of the coolest super powers from the comic world into our reality. They were inspired by an extremely popular fictional character, Wolverine, who can self-heal within seconds from any injury, including bullet wounds. The result of such a scientific mission is a synthetic material that is transparent. What is unique about it is that it has a self-healing nature that can recover from a scissors cut. While the miraculous process takes hours and not seconds, it is still a marvelous breakthrough in the field of science.
Chao Wang at the University of California is the leading researcher of this discovery. He recognized his childhood role model as being one of the X-men characters, namely Wolverine. He was impressed by his self-healing capabilities. Thus, Wang and his colleagues pursued the ambitious mission of recreating the Sci-Fi capability in the real world.
Previous studies showed that a self-healing material needs a covalent bond structure to become effective. However, Chang discovered a more approachable method with the use of ionic bonds. These structures can deliver better performance and are little affected by the electrochemical reactions. These reactions are necessary to reverse the stable bonds and induce their self-healing nature.
To enable this innovative process, Wang devised an ion-dipole interactions mechanism. This invention can empower a bond to become stable under extremely stressful electrochemical conditions. The final step was to fuse the two elements together. These two are a transparent and stretchable polymer and the new ionic bond that can recover by itself. The result is the innovative self-healing material.
The new material had more surprises in store for its creators. The composition can actually stretch 50 times its initial size. Once the scientists cut it with scissors, the material heals itself within 24 hours. At only five minutes after the healing process ends, the same piece of material can be extended to two times its original measure.
The new material can improve the modern world to great extent. With the help of electrical signals, scientists have already managed to make artificial muscles move by themselves. The self-healing material will be used to help handicapped persons with artificial limbs. Furthermore, the same stretchable polymer can produce self-healing robots, ion batteries, and other medical devices.
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