Skinning up

Stanford University researchers have developed a new self-healing polymer skin that could one day be used in prostheses. The material not only heals itself at room temperature but is also touch sensitive. Zhenan Bao and colleagues report in Nature Nanotechnology how a scalpel cut in the material will repair itself within 30 minutes. The material is a composite of a supramolecular organic polymer within which are embedded nickel nanostructured microparticles to form a conductive and piezoelectric substance.