Wear occurs at most solid surfaces that come in contact with other solid surfaces. While biological surfaces and tissues usually have the ability for self-healing, engineered self-healing materials only started to emerge recently. An example of a smart self-healing material is the materials with embedded microcapsules, which rupture during crack propagation and release a healing agent that repairs the crack. We discuss the conditions under which the self-healing occurs and provide a general theoretical framework and criteria for self-healing using the concept of multiscale organization of entropy and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

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