Scientists in America claim to have developed a skin-like plastic that "bleeds" when cut or scratched and then heals, which could be used on electrical devices such as mobile phones or laptops.
The material, when cut, turns from clear to red along the line of the damage, mimicking what happens to skin.
Many observers have noted that smartphones such as iPhones are not robust enough to deal with being dropped and consequently need replacing quite often, but this protective skin could change that.
The skin reacts to ordinary light or changes in temperature by mending broken molecular "bridges" to heal itself.
Lead researcher professor Marek Urban from the University of Southern Mississippi said the new material could also be used to flag up damage to critical aircraft structures in the future.
"Our new plastic tries to mimic nature, issuing a red signal when damaged and then renewing itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH changes," he added.
Posted by Simon Thomas