Friday, 30 Mar, 2012 Science

Latest Invention: Researchers Develop Artificial Plastic Skin Able to Heal Itself


Scientists have been working on the creation of artificial skin for a long time. The final goal was to use the artificial skin in wounded soldiers and bio-medical research.

Recently a group of researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi managed to take the effort to a new level. They developed a new type of plastic that resembles human skin. The new material starts bleeding when scratched and is able to heal itself. It is worth mentioning that the plastic does not really bleed, it simply changes its color to red to signal that it's damaged.

Scientists are working with the same type of plastic that is today used in car fenders - the damaged region can be repaired by being exposed to light.

According to Professor Marek W Urban of the University of Southern Mississippi, the new material attempts to mimic nature and namely human skin - it shows a red signal when something's wrong with it and afterwards heals itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH alterations.

Unlike other plastic skins, the new one can continuously heal itself almost like real human skin. It's no wonder that Department of Defense decided to fund the project, with the goal being the use of the invention in wounded troops.

The study was officially presented at a conference for the American Chemical Society.

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