Self-healing Materials

Self-healing materials repair and restore their functionality in an autonomic fashion (i.e. automatic without human intervention). They are triggered by an environmental stimulus such as a change in pH, UV light, or most often, by mechanical damage like a microcrack. We pursue three conceptual approaches to self-healing including microcapsule-based systems in which reactive species (healing agents) are sequestered in core-shell microcapsules and dispersed within the host material, microvascular-based systems in which a vascular network isolates the healing agent, and mechanochemical systems in which force-sensitive molecular units (mechanophores) are incorporated within a polymer backbone or as crosslinks in a polymer matrix.

Microcapsule-based Systems

Microcapsule-based systems sequester the healing agent in discrete capsules.

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Microvascular Healing

Taking inspiration from biological materials, microvascular self-healing materials utilize hollow internal networks filled with fluidic healing agents to achieve repetitive healing events. 

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Regenerative and Remodeling Systems

Our group is pioneering the development of new synthetic material systems that mimic the regenerative and remodeling capabilities of biological systems.

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Mechanochemical Systems

Mechanochemically active polymers undergo a chemical reaction (fluorescence, healing, etc.) in response to mechanical stress.


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