Professor Michael Strano, a professor at MIT University, is developing materials that can react with atmospheric carbon dioxide to self-heal. It is said that light is needed when self-repairing.
The self-healing material is composed of APMA (aminopropyl methacrylamide) and glucose-oxidized enzyme, chloroplast, synthetic gel material. When cracks occur in the self-healing material, the material itself reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and restores the damage.
The researchers use protective coatings and building materials as examples. However, the materials are high in strength, but they are not enough to be used as building materials.
For the development of self-healing materials, chloroplasts extracted from spinach leaves are used. However, chloroplasts isolated from the original plant are said to be replaced by other catalysts in the future because the unstable state lasts for several hours and then stops functioning.
The team is focused on optimizing material properties and commercial use, such as self-healing coatings, is feasible in the future. According to the researchers, there have been studies to imitate the self-healing ability of biological organisms by their own characteristics, but they all require active input from outside, such as heating, ultraviolet light, mechanical stress, and chemical treatment. But this development requires that the healing material needs ambient light and adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. It is also an indication that carbon dioxide is not just a social burden or a cost.
The research will be done in various ways, including coating materials that use the material properties as they are, and research for the use of building materials. For more information, please click here .