Glue made from genetically modified bacteria can knit cracks in concrete
2010 11 25

By Niall Firth | DailyMail.co.uk

A bacteria that can knit together cracks in concrete structures by producing a special ‘glue’ has been developed by British scientists.
The genetically-modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in the concrete. Once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue which combine to ‘knit’ the building back together.

The ‘BacillaFilla’ eventually hardens to become the same strength as the surrounding concrete and is designed to make buildings last longer.


Filler: The bacteria could be injected into a crack in a concrete wall and would self-germinate until it had filled the gap.

Joint project instructor Dr Jennifer Hallinan said: ‘Around five per cent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions are from the production of concrete, making it a significant contributor to global warming.

‘Finding a way of prolonging the lifespan of existing structures means we could reduce this environmental impact and work towards a more sustainable solution.

’This could be particularly useful in earthquake zones where hundreds of buildings have to be flattened because there is currently no easy way of repairing the cracks and making them structurally sound.”
The bacterium used by researchers is called Bacillus subtilis and is commonly found in soil.

The BacillaFilla spores only start germinating when they make contact with concrete – triggered by the very specific pH of the material – and they have an in-built self-destruct gene which means they would be unable to survive in the environment.

Once the cells have germinated, they swarm down the fine cracks in the concrete and are able to sense when they reach the bottom because of the clumping of the bacteria.

This clumping activates concrete repair, with the cells differentiating into three types: cells which produce calcium carbonate crystals, cells which act as reinforcing fibres and cells which produce a glue which acts as a binding agent and fills the gap.

The microbial glue was designed by students at Newcastle University as part of a major international science competition in the US.


Article from: dailymail.co.uk



Related Articles
Bacteria Can Stand-Up and "Walk"
Bacteria and Phytoplankton Affect the Weather
Alexander the Great Killed by Toxic Bacteria?
Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
An Input/Output Device for the Brain - Made of Light, Algae, and Bacteria
Much of Britain was Exposed to Bacteria Sprayed in Secret Trials (The Guardian, 2002)
Too Much Technology Kills Good Bacteria


Latest News from our Front Page

US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
2014-12-20 21:53
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik. December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
2014-12-20 21:00
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36 Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army. The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills. The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack. Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job. Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
2014-12-20 2:13
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled. Via The Hollywood Reporter: After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move. “The ...
The Bankster International
2014-12-20 1:55
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
More News »