Researchers Biswajit Ghosh and Marek Urban at the University of Southern Mississippi are working on a self-healing polymer that would allow a phone or an MP3 player — or any gadget, really — to patch itself up with the help of some sunshine, as seen above. The trick is in the three chemical components that make up the self-repairing layer: scratch-resistant polyurethane, and components OXE and CHI. When the polyurethane gets nicked, the unstable structure of OXE causes it to bleed out, and UV light will cause the CHI and OXE to form bonds and fill the gap — just like human skin.
Promising stuff, but it isn't ready for the consumer circuit just yet. The pair still need to run more tests, such as what happens when a second cut happens in the same place. Still, when you accidentally drop your iPhone 5G, you may just be able to set it on the table and watch it mend itself.
Via Ars Technica