It’s amazing how fast we are moving now days towards our future. We have a sports bra that monitors your workout, a suit that lets you swap business cards digitally, beanie hat that tracks your newborn’s vitals and currently there is a new revolution coming knocking on our door and that is developing devices that can actually heal themselves.
Most wearable electronics today are expensive and complicated to make, with multiple moving parts. One option for making cheaper components is to print electronic devices, using a process that looks much like conventional printing, but with special, electrically functional inks, Inks that conduct electronic current to print circuits into materials like cloth or paper. The downside to this technology is what anyone who wears clothes knows--they can be easily damaged.
To solve this dilemma Engineers from the University of California San Diego have developed a self-healing magical device which they call magnetic ink that can be used to make batteries, electrochemical sensors, and wearable, textile-based electrical circuits. It uses highly magnetized ink to make a wearable that "heals" itself when it's broken, by sticking itself back together and allowing the current to keep flowing. The devices can repair tears as wide as three millimetres and that is a world record in the field of self-healing systems.
The other advantage of using magnetic ink is that, it is cheap. Hundred of devices could be made with $10 worth of ink and because the ink could make these products last longer, it would be a good step to achieve sustainability in wearable devices.
So yes it is true. Now we can have clothes, circuits, batteries and many more devices that can have the ability to actually heal themselves.