Self-healing Polymers: From Biological Systems to Highly Functional Polymers

  • Stefan Zechel
  • Martin D. HagerEmail author
  • Ulrich S. Schubert
Living reference work entry
Part of the Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series book series (POPOC)


The self-healing phenomenon is well-known from nature. Since the last 15 years, several approaches were developed in order to transfer this behavior into synthetic materials and to enable the preparation of multifunctional polymers. The following chapter summarizes the different polymers and their corresponding healing mechanism and provides an overview of the current state of the art. Additionally, the healing of functions as well as the characterization of the self-healing behavior is provided. Furthermore, a short comparison between polymers and other material classes is presented. Finally, the first commercial available systems are summarized showing the way for future developments in this area.

List of Abbreviations








Eisenberg-Hird-Moore model




Hetero Diels-Alder


Infrared spectroscopy




Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy


Poly(ethylene glycol)




Poly(propylene glycol)


Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer


Ring-opening metathesis polymerization


Small angle X-ray scattering


Tapered double cantilever beam





The authors thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, SPP 1568) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Zechel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin D. Hager
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ulrich S. Schubert
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry (IOMC)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany

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