Self-healing Polymers and Composites
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Inspired by the unique and efficient wound healing processes in biological systems, several approaches to develop synthetic polymers that can repair themselves with complete, or nearly complete, autonomy have recently been developed. This review aims to survey the rapidly expanding field of self-healing polymers by reviewing the major successful autonomic repairing mechanisms developed over the last decade. Additionally, we discuss several issues related to transferring these self-healing technologies from the laboratory to real applications, such as virgin polymer property changes as a result of the added healing functionality, healing in thin films v. bulk polymers, and healing in the presence of structural reinforcements.