Using a special liquid, scientists managed to create a self-sewing material that will make seamsters obsolete. The invention is designed to prevent and repair any tear that might occur in the fabric.
Imagine if Spiderman’s costume was tear-resistant. Now picture your favorite pair of jeans and ponder on how it would feel to wear them indefinitely, no risk of tear or rupture in sight.
According to the latest paper published in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces magazine, the dream of not having to throw out your clothes due to irreparable tears is now about to come true.
A new self-sewing material was devised by a group of Penn State University researchers. The material is made from a combination yeast and bacteria that can repair any damages almost immediately.
Melik Demirel, a mechanics and engineering science professor at Penn State declared that he and his team wanted to come up with a material that can rival the organic fibers that are currently used by designers.
Silk or wool are made of proteins, they are naturally-occurring substances, but they are not strong enough to resist tears. That is why Demirel and his team came up with the liquid coating technology that employs bacteria and yeast.
The self-sewing material is made by dipping an ordinary fabric into the liquid compound several times. The more layers that piece of clothing is covered in, the faster the material heals itself in the case of an accidental tear.
The coating contains, apart from the ingredients mentioned above, negatively and positively charged polymers. That is why it received the name of polyelectrolyte.
“We currently dip the whole garment to create the advanced material. But we could do the threads first, before manufacturing if we wanted to,” declared Demirel.
It seems that in the case of a tear, all you have to do is apply some warm water on the surface and then gently squeeze the edges together. The fabric will start repairing itself, the bacteria doing its job.
The special liquid was created with squid tentacles in mind. However, squid resources are scarce, so scientists had to use biotechnology to replicate the effect of the substance that heals any wound on the squid’s tentacles.
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