The latest breakthrough in science is going to revolutionize fashion. Scientists have used squid extract to repair torn fabric.
Experts from the Penn State University are developing a method of repairing clothes without taking them to the tailor. This method is based on a novel liquid mix, made from bacteria and yeast. It can bind together most fabrics. The findings of the research were published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Fashion creators use fibers made from wool or silk. They’re expensive and they do not self-repair. According to Melik C. Demirel, professor of engineering, the team of experts was looking for ways to make materials repair themselves, using regular textiles. So they invented this novel coating technology.
The process is not complicated. You take a piece of torn material. Then you add the wonder-liquid on it, pour warm water and press the fabrics together. The fabric binds together and stays put, even though it’s not seamless. Once it dries, it doesn’t tear apart again. It even withstands being washed in the washing machine.
The liquid which helps the fabric repair itself forms a “polyelectrolyte” layer, which is made of both positively and negatively charged polymers. Its properties resemble it to the proteins which exist in squids’ teeth, which also have self-regenerating capacities.
Scientists believe this sort of liquid can be applied to a piece of clothing tears, or even during the manufacturing process. This would make the material have self-repairing capacities.
The substance has multiple practical applications. The most obvious one is to the fashion industry. But it could also be used to limit exposure in people who use pesticides or other dangerous materials.
The substance can degrade toxins before they reach the human skin, and can save skin from burns or chemical processes.
It is not yet known if and when the substance will be available on the market. It still has to pass through a series of tests to see if the liquid can retain its composition when detergent is added.
Demirel believes that science happens in small steps, although some may want it to happen instantly everywhere.
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