The hottest self degradable materials are expected

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"Self decomposable" materials: it is expected to alleviate the problem of plastics and e-waste

researchers at the Munich University of technology have developed a material that can be used continuously when there is fuel and will decompose itself once the fuel is used up, which is expected to alleviate the increasing number of plastics and e-waste

we usually hope that materials have better durability, but when we don't need them, we hope that they can completely disappear, rather than constantly filling the garbage dump. Now, researchers at Munich University of technology have developed a material that can be used continuously when there is fuel. Once the fuel is used up, it will decompose itself without accurate speed control, which is expected to alleviate the increasing number of plastics and electronic waste

most artificial materials need to meet the condition of continuous use, but it is troublesome to deal with them. Inspired by biological processes, researchers at the Munich University of Technology (tum) are developing materials that "die" when energy is exhausted, allowing drug delivery systems, even electronic products and packaging materials, to self destruct as needed

with the improvement of the working environment, animals or plants will die and decompose if they cannot continuously supplement energy through food or sunlight. However, man-made materials cannot exchange energy with their environment, so they can maintain their shape for a long time. When we finally want to deal with it, we need to consume more energy through processes such as circulation, which is not the most effective process

jobboekhoven, the lead author of this study, said: "So far, most of the artificial substances that improve the competitiveness and effectiveness of the real economy are chemically very stable: a lot of energy must be spent to decompose them into their original components. However, when nature does not adopt decojet films, garbage piles will be generated. On the contrary, biological cells will continue to synthesize new molecules from regenerated cells, and some of these molecules will be assembled into larger structures, the so-called supramolecular assembly, This dynamic collection of structural components that form cells encourages us to develop materials that can handle ourselves when they are not needed. "

in order to imitate these natural systems, the tum team created a molecular mixture that initially moves freely and can be assembled into hydrogels when adding "fuel". The fuel is in the form of high-energy molecules called carbodiimide. As long as the fuel is continuously supplied, the chemical reaction can ensure the stability of the hydrogel. When the fuel is finally used up, the hydrogel will decompose into its original molecules, so the self destruction procedure can be set by controlling the amount of fuel given at the beginning

in laboratory tests, the team created materials with a predictable life of minutes or hours, and after they die and dissolve, the process can be restarted by adding another batch of fuel

researchers claim that in the short term, this technology can be used as a targeted drug delivery system, in which the spherical structure can carry drugs around the body, and then automatically dissolve and release its payload where needed. In addition, it can also be assembled into tissue engineering scaffolds to help the human body heal. Once the human body's own cells take over its work, it will immediately decompose

the team said that plastic or electronic devices are expected to be made of self destructing materials to prevent them from blocking landfills, such as "transient" electronic components soluble in water or heated and fusible, but adding programmable time delays would be a welcome addition

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