A new material that can repeatedly heal itself at room temperature when exposed to ultraviolet light means we can create products that can repair themselves when damaged, such as self-healing medical implants, cars and airplane parts. A "self healing" type of ultra-thin metal was part of the debris found at the site of the Roswell UFO crash over 60 yeas ago (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).
When a crack in the material is pressed together and exposed to UV light, the separate pieces of the polymer fuse together and reform into one solid piece. Right now, the polymer can only repair itself in an oxygen-free environment, but researchers hope to develop polymers that heal under visible light and in ordinary air, which should open up many practical applications, including products and components that heal after suffering minor damage. This could even revolutionize plastic surgery in the future: Researcher Nancy Sottos has made materials that mimic human skin and that heal themselves using underlying channels filled with healing agents: "Nip and tuck" may become "coating" instead! At unknowncountry.com, we don't believe in "coating" the truth: We give it to you straight. We hope you appreciate what we do, and IF you do that you'll show us and subscribe today!