Abstract

The lifetime of man-made materials is controlled largely by the wear and tear of everyday use, environmental stress and unexpected damage, which ultimately lead to failure and disposal. Smart materials that mimic the ability of living systems to autonomously protect, report, heal and even regenerate in response to damage could increase the lifetime, safety and sustainability of many manufactured items. There are several approaches to achieving these functions using polymer-based materials, but making them work in highly variable, real-world situations is proving challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalNature
Volume540
Issue number7633
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 14 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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