Pressurized vascular systems for self-healing materials

A. R. Hamilton, N. R. Sottos, S. R. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An emerging strategy for creating self-healing materials relies on embedded vascular networks of microchannels to transport reactive fluids to regions of damage. Here we investigate the use of active pumping for the pressurized delivery of a two-part healing system, allowing a small vascular system to deliver large volumes of healing agent. Different pumping strategies are explored to improve the mixing and subsequent polymerization of healing agents in the damage zone. Significant improvements in the number of healing cycles and in the overall healing efficiency are achieved compared with prior passive schemes that use only capillary forces for the delivery of healing agents. At the same time, the volume of the vascular system required to achieve this superior healing performance is significantly reduced. In the best case, nearly full recovery of fracture toughness is attained throughout 15 cycles of damage and healing, with a vascular network constituting just 0.1 vol% of the specimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1028
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number70
StatePublished - May 7 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioinspired
  • Fracture
  • Microvascular
  • Self-healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Pressurized vascular systems for self-healing materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this