Accelerated self-healing via ternary interpenetrating microvascular networks

Christopher J. Hansen, Scott R. White, Nancy R. Sottos, Jennifer A Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-healing materials with dual interpenetrating microvascular networks enable two-part healing chemistries and repeated healing of damage in a localized region.1 However, due to slow healing kinetics, multiple days are required between damage events to recover mechanical performance under ambient conditions. By directly writing a third interdigitated microvascular network within these epoxy coating/substrate architectures to enable in situ thermal regulation, the characteristic healing time is reduced by an order of magnitude. Specifically, this third network provides a conduit for circulating a temperature-controlled fluid that rapidly heats the locally damaged region leading to a sharp reduction in the time required for mechanical property restoration. Self-healing materials with embedded ternary interpenetrating microvascular networks for thermally accelerated self-healing are fabricated by direct-write assembly (scale bar = 2 mm). Characterization of a bulk epoxy healing system demonstrates rapid healing at elevated temperatures. Circulation of a thermal fluid via an embedded microvascular network locally heats damaged regions, reducing healing times by over an order of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4320-4326
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 22 2011


  • direct-write assembly
  • microvascular networks
  • self-healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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