SIGN UP FOR THE BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Inspired by Wolverine, Scientists Develop Self-Healing Artificial Material

A team of scientists out of UC Riverside has developed a material that can mend itself, inspired by the self-healing power of iconic Marvel hero Wolverine.

Thirty-one year old UCR Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chao Wang is fascinated by Wolverine’s fictional regenerative abilities, specifically the manner in which his body heals itself of even the most dire injuries he sustains. It was this fascination that led him toward the development of a synthetic material that could repair itself, alongside a team that included fellow researchers from the University of Colorado.

The material needed to be able to mend itself, but the team wanted to do more. They wanted it to be conductive so that it could be stimulated in the same manner as our nervous systems stimulate our muscles, elastic enough to flex and stretch through any imaginable use, and transparent to boot. The material could be used for anything from powering devices to functional artificial muscle. It could make robots stronger and more graceful, or even be used to create artificial limbs that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

University of Colorado Assistant Professor Christoph Keplinger has used similar — though not self-healing — technology to create artificial muscle and transparent loudspeakers. But it’s that crucial ability to regenerate that sets this development apart and makes it viable to far broader usage. Carefully proportioned ionic conductivity is the key, in what Ph.D. student Tim Morrissey calls the “Goldilocks combination.”

The self-healing even functioned when the material was cut into two entirely separate pieces, completely reforming until it had regained complete functionality, without any outside stimulation.

It’s difficult to fathom the potential of such a massive leap forward in artificial tissue, but many are trying. Chao Wang’s e-mail inbox is quickly swelling messages from individuals all around the world, hoping to participate in the new material’s development.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.

P.S. DO YOU WANT MORE ARTICLES
LIKE THIS ONE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX?
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY BREITBART NEWSLETTER.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.

SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICIAL
BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

GET TODAY'S TOP NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

I don't want to get today's top news.

x