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Demei Researches And Develops Fast Self-healing Biological Materials, Which Can Be Super Self-healing

Self-healing Materials Research Findings

Recently, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany and Pennsylvania State University in the United States have jointly developed a biosynthetic protein material. By strengthening the healing properties of tandem repeating peptides, it has successfully solved the current limitations of self-healing soft materials. This research is expected to have important applications in the field of soft robotics, and related results have been published in the recent "Natural Materials" magazine.
 

Structural Properties of Self-healing Materials

Self-healing materials are a kind of smart materials with structural self-healing ability. In recent years, artificially synthesized self-repairing biological materials have attracted more and more attention from scientists. They are inspired by biological systems that can repair themselves after injury. At present, scientists are cooperating to develop a high-strength synthetic protein that can self-repair micro and macro mechanical damage in a short period of time, completely restore its structure and performance, and has programmable healing properties. This healing performance provides new opportunities for bioinspired material design and addresses the limitations of self-healing materials currently used for soft robots and personal protective equipment.

Continuous Improvement of Self-healing Materials

Professor Demirel of Pennsylvania State University said that we have changed the molecular structure of the octopus tentacle protein in order to maximize the self-repairing ability of the material. In nature, self-repair takes a long time, such as 24 hours. Now, we shorten the repair process to 1 second. The main member of the research team, Dr. Abdon Pena-Franche of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, explained that octopuses take longer to heal because the protein molecules in their tentacles are simply intertwined. . In the materials developed in the laboratory, we changed the nanostructure of the molecules to connect them to each other. These materials have been systematically optimized to improve their hydrogen-bonded nanostructures and network morphology. They have programmable healing properties (the strength is 2 to 23 MPa after healing for 1 second), and the healing speed and strength are more than other natural and synthetic soft materials. Orders of magnitude.
 

Development Prospects of Self-healing Materials

Professor Meiting Siti of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems led his team to study how to use this self-healing soft material in a soft robot. Researchers have designed and manufactured a pneumatic soft actuator and constructed a soft gripper, which is a promising application of soft robotics in the food, pharmaceutical, packaging and retail industries. In addition, biosynthetic protein materials also provide a promising platform that can make soft robots closer to simulating complex biological systems and provide a broad design space for multifunctional soft robots.

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