A new car paint which has been developed to act like skin and heal itself, could result in fewer car insurance claims in the future.
A polyurethane coating means with the assistance of sunlight scratches mend on their own.
Developed by scientists the paint can fix itself in less than an hour when ultraviolet radiation is present.
As well as being beneficial to cars US researchers think it could also be used in clothing, packaging and biomedical goods.
The material was developed by Dr Marek Urban and Biswajit Ghosh, from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, using a substance present in shrimp and crab shells.
In research published in the journal Science the scientists said: "An ideal automotive coating would mend itself while a vehicle is driven."
Research also found the stronger the sunlight, the quicker the repair happened. Tests in the US showed in summer in the south of the country the healing would take place three to four times faster than in the less sunny north.
© Press Association 2009