• self-healing;
  • functional polymers;
  • functionality recovery;
  • microcapsules

Self-healing of polymers and polymer composites initially represented a process capable of autonomic restoration of mechanical strength upon cracking of the materials, but it is moving into the area of restoration of functionality. This mini-review is focused on recent efforts to develop functional polymers with built-in stimuli-responsive ability to heal for recovery of their specific physical or chemical properties. Molecular design and synthesis, compounding and assembly of organic and inorganic species, inherent reversibility, etc., are summarized. It is hoped that much more interest will be aroused in this emerging and promising frontier topic. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry