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Easy Repair: Novel structural model heals with heat

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12:57pm, June 25, 2003

The capacity of biological tissues to heal after being wounded is one of their most enviable traits. In recent years, materials scientists have been trying to emulate this capability by developing synthetic self-healing or easily mendable materials for products ranging from aerospace parts to athletic gear (SN: 2/17/01, p. 101: Scientists develop self-healing composites).

Now, Mila Boncheva and George Whitesides of Harvard University are tapping the vertebral spine for inspiration. Using millimeter-scale polymer beads for vertebrae and thin elastic threads for muscles and ligaments, the researchers have created spine

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