Scientists have created a plastic ‘skin’ that oozes red blood when cut.
It can also ‘heal’ itself, building tiny molecular bridges inside in response to damage.
The red ‘blood’ might sound like a pointless Halloween novelty – but the idea is that the ‘skin’ can warn engineers that a structure such as an aicraft wing has been damaged.
The material could provide self-healing surfaces for a multitude of products ranging from mobile phones and laptops to cars, say researchers.
When cut, the plastic turns from clear to red along the line of the damage, mimicking what happens to skin.
It reacts to ordinary light, or changes in temperature or acidity, by mending broken molecular ‘bridges’ to heal itself.