Advanced Bacterial BioMaterials for Engineering Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Civil and Environmental Engineering


Bacteria are able to generate a diverse array of minerals (biominerals) which have significant potential as cements and sealants for civil and environmental engineering applications. However, this biotechnology can be improved upon if we can tune the mechanical properties of the biominerals so they are better suited for specific tasks. This PhD will explore how bacterially generated biominerals can be modified by incorporation of additives, such as polymers, ions and nanoparticles, to enhance their mechanical properties. In this way, bacterially generated materials could be modified for specific roles, such as stabilizing ground against earthquakes and for repairing damage to buildings and infrastructure.
This approach will be inspired by the advanced biominerals already produced by nature. For example, organisms such as mussels and oysters produce shells of superior mechanical properties through the interaction and incorporation of other ions and molecules. Inspired by this, we will explore how this type of mineral enhancement can provide advantageous properties in microbially generated minerals. This will provide the first steps towards a new generation of bacterially generated minerals with superior performance in engineering applications.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513349/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2137776 Studentship EP/R513349/1 01/10/2018 31/03/2022 Marcella McIlroy