During the 3.8 billion years of biological evolution, a multitude of functional principles has been developed in all kingdoms of life enabling the sealing and healing of diverse types of damage. Inspired by this treasure trove, biologists and engineers have become increasingly interested in learning from biological insights for the development of self-repairing materials. In this review, particular attention is paid to the systematic transfer of knowledge from wound reactions in biological role models to technical applications with self-repair function. This knowledge transfer includes bioinspiration in terms of the conscious implementation of an idea from nature or biomimetics in the form of a systematic transfer of underlying functional principles found in selected biological role models. The current overview presents a selection of breakthroughs regarding bioinspired or biomimetic self-repairing materials, including the initial basic publications and the recent publications of the last eight years. Each reviewed publication is presented with reference to three key criteria: (i) self-repair mechanisms in plants or animals as role models; (ii) knowledge transfer from living nature to technology; and (iii) bioinspired or biomimetic materials with self-repair function. Finally, damage control is discussed with a focus on damage prevention and damage management.
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