A review of vascular networks for self-healing applications

Yasmina Shields, Nele De Belie, Anthony Jefferson & Kim Van Tittelboom

Abstract: Abstract Increasing awareness for sustainability has led to the development of smart self-healing materials, which can extend the service life and improve safety without human intervention. Vascular networks are observed in biological systems, such as leaf venation and blood vascular systems, and provide inspiration for self-healing mechanisms in engineered systems. Embedding a vascular network in a host material has the advantage of addressing varying magnitudes of damage and allowing for an indefinite replenishment of the healing agent, which are current limitations of intrinsic and capsule-based self-healing systems. These networks are demonstrated in polymer and composite materials, with fabrication methods including removal of sacrificial elements, electrospinning, and an array of additive manufacturing (AM) techniques. Advances in AM allow more complex network configurations to be realized that optimize fluid distribution and healing potential. This review intends to provide a comprehensive overview of the current progress and limitations of the design approaches, fabrication methods, healing mechanisms, and relevant applications of embedded vascular networks. Additionally, significant research gaps and future research directions for vascular self-healing materials are described.

Reference of this article: Shields, Y., De Belie, N., Jefferson, A., & Van Tittelboom, K. (2021). A review of vascular networks for self-healing applications. SMART MATERIALS AND STRUCTURES, 30(6)
DOI: 10.1088/1361-665X/abf41d

Keywords: Self-healing, vascular networks, biomimetic


Yasmina Shields, Nele De Belie & Kim Van Tittelboom: Magnel-Vandepitte Laboratory for Structural Engineering and Building Materials, Ghent University, Belgium

Anthony Jefferston: Cardiff School of Engineering, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

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The full article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-665x/abf41d


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