A bacteria-based bead for possible self-healing marine concrete applications

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57 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents a bacteria-based bead for potential self-healing concrete applications in low-temperature marine environments. The bead consisting of calcium alginate encapsulated bacterial spores and mineral precursor compounds was assessed for: oxygen consumption, swelling, and its ability to form a biocomposite in a simulative marine concrete crack solution (SMCCS) at 8 °C. After six days immersion in the SMCCS the bacteria-based beads formed a calcite crust on their surface and calcite inclusions in their network, resulting in a calcite-alginate biocomposite. Beads swelled by 300% to a maximum diameter of 3 mm, while theoretical calculations estimate that 0.112 g of the beads were able to produce ∼1 mm3 of calcite after 14 days immersion; providing the bead with considerable crack healing potential. The bacteria-based bead shows great potential for the development of self-healing concrete in low-temperature marine environments, while the formation of a biocomposite healing material represents an exciting avenue for self-healing concrete research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number084008
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016


  • alginate
  • bacteria
  • biocomposite
  • low-temperature
  • marine environment
  • self-healing concrete


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