NASA's New Material: Heals a Bullet Wound In Seconds

The world has seen many accidental discoveries including America, penicillin, champagne and Carvel ice cream just to name a few. Count among them the new material NASA has developed that can heal a bullet wound in just two seconds. (Bonnie and Clyde, surely if you were alive you would be listening carefully). The new NASA-funded materal is not the first sef-healing plastic the world has ever seen, but it is the first to react so quickly thanks to an unexpected chemical reaction.


Self Healing Bullet Wound: Image Source: YoutubeSelf Healing Bullet Wound: Image Source: Youtube


How does this chemical reaction work?

Developed by a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and NASA, the material is comprised of two layers of solid polymer, which is a large molecule with a broad range of properties that are essential to human life. A liquid gel (resin) lies between the two layers and as long as the gel remains in the airtight space between the two panels, it retains its liquid form.


Self-Healing Material: Source: HintvSelf-Healing Material: Source: Hintv


If however, either or both of the layers are punctured in some way, the gel combines with the oxygen that has entered the wound. The chemical reaction is caused by the mixture of oxygen with tributyborane, an element within the gel, which immediately transforms the liquid center into an instant plug that closes the wound.

The many applications of this special self-healing material

Apart from the more obvious application of plugging up holes in space suits and spaceships, which are regulalry bombarded wth floating debris and objects, this incredible self-healing material could be used within NASA's Space Exploration Program in the creation of high pressure vessels, vehicles and habitat modules. It can also be used in self-sealing tires in cars, pipes, storage liners for food and other sensitive materials, containers and even phones. Research on this material has been published in the journal, ACS Macro Letters.

Medical and health-related applications

This application has yet to be explored, but imagine for a second an emergency room in any hosptial in any country of the world whose medical staff has the power to plug up a bullet wound in a matter of two seconds!  How many lives could be saved both on battlefields and in ugly urban confrontations with crime. At the moment, it is staggering for the human imagination to consider, but important changes start with an idea that is developed sometimes by accident and rethought to apply to different venues.

In addition, life critical personnel protective equipment (PPE) via this amazing material can become cost-effective protection against injury, infection, electrostatic charging, radiation and abrasion. This equipment refers to any type of protective clothing including helmets, apparel, goggles, etc.

The future of self-healing material

Time will tell on this innovative NASA discovery  which may prove to be more dazzling on earth than it is in space. Scientific experiments with their many potential applications in health, medicine and all types of industry are destined to be a boon to all mankind.

Here's the video of this amazing innovation:


Closing thoughts on NASA's discoveries:
NASA has spin-offs, and it's a huge and very impressive list, including accurate and affordable LASIK eye surgery. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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