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01/28/2013

Self-healing, stretchable wire

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    The idea is to develop self-healing wires able to reconnect at the molecular level even after being completely severed.
    The self-healing wires will be made from a commercially-available self-healing polymer. Tiny microfluidic channels will be bored in the polymer using solid wire, and then the channels will be filled with a liquid-metal alloy of indium and gallium, resulting in a liquid-metal wire in an elastic sheath.
    If the wires are cut, the liquid metal will oxidize to form a thin skin that will prevent it from leaking from the sheath, and pressing the cut ends of the wire together will cause the liquid metal to reconnect on the molecular level. This could allow circuits to be re-wired using only a pair of scissors.
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