Clothing Can Patch Itself with Proteins from Squid Teeth

A team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have developed a textile coating containing proteins from squid that lets scratches and tears heal themselves. Self-healing materials are highly desirable for the long-term reliability of woven or non-woven textiles. Polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer (LbL) films are of considerable interest as self-healing coatings due to the mobility of the components comprising the film. The researchers fabricated mechanically stable self-healing films through construction of a polyelectrolyte LbL film containing squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins. The mechanically stable self-healing coatings can incorporate biomolecules for more complex protective functionalities for advanced functional fabrics.