Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation to design a new type of bio self-healing dental composite

  • Mostafa Seifan
  • Zahra Sarabadani
  • Aydin BerenjianEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Crack propagation is one of the issues associating with dental composites which can significantly affect their performance. Current solutions for preventing and stopping the cracks include maximizing the filler to matrix ratio as well as fiber reinforcing of composites which are not always reliable. The precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals by the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) bacteria can be seen as a novel approach to address this shortcoming. In the present study, the effect of microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) on filling dental composites’ cracks and cavities was studied. In this first step, the capability of different GRAS bacteria to induce CaCO3 precipitation was investigated. In the next step, the capability of potent bacteria to initiate MCIP in solid matrix was evaluated. For this purpose, the CaCO3-bacteria along with necessary nutrients were introduced into different dental composites in two ways, namely, powder and paste form. The light-cured composites were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDS) to identify and characterize the precipitated CaCO3 crystals. It was shown that the incorporation of powder healing compound in two composites resulted in precipitation of CaCO3, while no crystals were formed when a paste form of healing compound was mixed with composites. The results evidently show that MICP can be a feasible alternative to current inefficient approaches to address microcracking issues in dental composites.


Self-healing Dental composite Bacteria Calcium carbonate Crack Biomineralization 


Funding information

The authors received financial supports from Kiwi Innovation Network Ltd. and the Emerging Innovator Programme funders: Norman Barry Foundation, K1 W1 and MBIE.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering, Faculty of Science and EngineeringThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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