Research press release


Nature Materials

Underwater polymer self-healing



今回、Herbert WaiteとJacob Israelachviliらは、金属を使用せず、カテコール基化したポリマー間の広範な水素結合を利用する方法を実証している。また、切断後に自己修復したポリマーの機械的特性が、切断前と同程度まで戻ることを明らかにしている。

Complete self-healing of damaged synthetic polymers in water can be achieved through an approach inspired by the adhesive abilities of mussels, reports a study published online in Nature Materials this week. The method could be used to make biomedical implants with enhanced durability.

There exist a variety of approaches to induce the self-healing of polymer materials. However, in most cases the polymers are not able to heal completely, in particular when they are in wet environments. Polymers decorated with mussel-inspired synthetic catechols - water-soluble organic molecules similar to those found in adhesive proteins secreted by mussels - have been shown to self-heal via bonding mediated by metal ions. However, this approach requires particular conditions for it to work.

Herbert Waite, Jacob Israelachvili and colleagues demonstrate a metal-free approach that relies on extensive hydrogen bonding between catechol-functionalized polymers. The authors also show that self-healed polymers following dissection recover the mechanical properties of the uncut material.

doi: 10.1038/nmat4037


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