British scientists have developed a genetically modified bacteria which they say can knit together cracks in concrete structures by producing a special glue.
The microbe, created by a team of researchers at the Newcastle University, 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 with the filamentous bacterial cells to “knit” the building back together, the researchers said.
Ultimately hardening to the same strength as the surrounding concrete, the “BacillaFilla” as it has been aptly named has been developed to prolong the life of structures which are environmentally costly to build, said the researchers who designed it as part of a science competition in the US.
Project instructor Jennifer Hallinan said: “Around 5% of carbon dioxide emissions are from the production of concrete. Finding a way of prolonging the lifespan of structures means we could reduce this environmental impact.”
Source: The Times of India, November 22, 2010.