A chemistry professor in Paris has come up with a kind of rubber that can “heal” itself. Ludwik Leibler says his rubber can be stuck back together if it is torn, then used over and over. VIDEO->
Leibler and his colleagues built up their rubber from simple starting materials including vegetable oil and urea, a component of urine. The resulting material is a cross between silly putty and a rubber ball with applications ranging from adhesives to bicycle tires.
When the material melds together again, it has just as much strength as it had before, says Leibler, a polymer chemist at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (ESPCI) in Paris, France.