Self-repairing electronic chips are one step closer, according to a team of US researchers.
The group has created a circuit that heals itself when cracked thanks to the release of liquid metal which restores conductivity.
The process takes less than an eye blink to bring the circuit back to use.
The researchers said that their work could eventually lead to longer-lasting gadgets as well as solving one of the big problems of interplanetary travel.
The work was carried out by a team of scientists and engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The process works by exploiting the stress that causes the initial damage in the chips to break open tiny reservoirs of a healing material that fills in the resulting gaps, restoring electrical flow.