Researchers have created a self-healing material that pulls carbon from the air to repair itself.
Developed by a team from MIT, the plant-inspired hydrogel polymer is made from aminopropyl methacrylamide (APMA), glucose, and the glucose oxidase enzyme. Chloroplasts extracted from spinach leaves were also embedded in the hydrogel, where they draw carbon from the surrounding air. As the carbon is incorporated, the material becomes stronger, resulting in a self-healing material that fills in cracks and scratches while also reducing pollution.
Image: Two samples of the material are dyed yellow and blue to observe their fusion. Physically connecting the materials without gluconolactone results in partial repair, as shown in A. With gluconolactone, the material gains full strength.
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