Light could heal materials

New material repairs itself when exposed to ultraviolet light

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 13:30 PM March 12, 2009

Sunshine may not cure all ills, but it could offer a quick fix for a scratched car. Scientists have used a substance from the shells of shrimp to create a new material that repairs itself when exposed to ultraviolet light. The properties of the polymer, described in the March 13 Science, are still being investigated, but it could in a matter of years make its way into all kinds of coatings, such as paints, and surfaces on everything from surgical instruments to countertops.  

“It’s some int...

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