Created reducing bacteria cracked concrete


23/11/2010

Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK, have created a new kind of concrete reductant that patches up the cracks in concrete structures, restoring buildings that were damaged in the earthquake, or under the influence of time. But it is not adhesive and synthetic material. Researchers have designed a bacterium that digs deep into the gap and produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a special sticky substance, which, after hardening, is not inferior to the strength of the concrete.

BatsillaFilla as researchers call it, is a genetically modified version of Bacillus subtilis (Bacillus subtilis), a very common soil bacteria. Researchers its modified genetic properties, which are only activated when it comes into contact with highly acidic pH level specific concrete. Once the cell is activated, it is programmed to climb deeper into the concrete cracks, where the so-called "quorum sensing," lets her know when there are enough number of bacteria.

According to the number of bacteria are determined to have reached the deepest part of the slit and begin development of filamentous bacteria form, which are able to produce calcium carbonate, and a sticky substance fastening it together. After hardening, the bacterium is, in fact, is as strong as its surrounding concrete, which allows us to use it as a reducing structural strength of concrete.

In bacteria also has a self-destruct gene that prevents its uncontrolled spread beyond the target site damage to the concrete. After break free self-generated concrete that can not be stopped, could have undesirable effects on the environment. Researchers hope that BatsillaFilla will increase the durability of concrete structures, which wear and their subsequent replacement hard hit by the environment. It can also be used in areas affected by the earthquake, to quickly repair damaged buildings and reduce the scope of work on the construction of new buildings after a disaster.

Original: Popsci


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