Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have developed a self-healing rubber material that uses metal to turn ultraviolet light into heat. "What we have developed is essentially a new plastic material composed of very small chains that stick together and assemble into much larger chains," said Stuart Rowan, a co-author of the study. "Healable polymers offer an alternative to the damage-and-discard cycle, and represent a first step in the development of polymeric materials that have much greater lifespans than currently available," according to an accompanying commentary to the study.

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