A self-repairing mobile phone screen has been created, paving the way for the end of costly repair bills.
Consumers spend millions of euro every year on repairing fragile screens, but innovations from South Korean could put an end to this with "self-healing" screens containing linseed oil that are capable of fixing cracks on their own in minutes.
Scientists led by Dr Yong-Chae Jung have developed microcapsules filled with the oil that can be mixed into the polymer used for screens.
When the screen cracks, the internal capsules also crack and release oil into the damaged glass that hardens into a transparent solid, 'healing' the screen.
The team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology wrote in the scientific publication Composites Part B: Engineering that the "simple self-healing behaviour of polymers is highly desirable for industrial applications".
Scientists were able to "develop a self-healing, colourless" material that can "radically solve the physical properties and lifespan" of damaged surfaces.
The innovation could prove useful for smartphones, with the self-releasing oil solution able to harden at room temperature without the need for expert intervention.
The process can be speeded up if the phone is exposed to higher temperatures. Scientists claim linseed repairs cracks in 91pc of cases.
The effectiveness of the process may "eventually be widely used in outdoor applications" for technology that employs the phone screen material.