Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 10, pp 4489–4498 | Cite as

Mechanical properties of bio self-healing concrete containing immobilized bacteria with iron oxide nanoparticles

  • Mostafa Seifan
  • Ajit K. Sarmah
  • Ali Khajeh Samani
  • Alireza EbrahiminezhadEmail author
  • Younes Ghasemi
  • Aydin BerenjianEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Concrete is arguably one of the most important and widely used materials in the world, responsible for the majority of the industrial revolution due to its unique properties. However, it is susceptible to cracking under internal and external stresses. The generated cracks result in a significant reduction in the concrete lifespan and an increase in maintenance and repair costs. In recent years, the implementation of bacterial-based healing agent in the concrete matrix has emerged as one of the most promising approaches to address the concrete cracking issue. However, the bacterial cells need to be protected from the high pH content of concrete as well as the exerted shear forces during preparation and hardening stages. To address these issues, we propose the magnetic immobilization of bacteria with iron oxide nanoparticles (IONs). In the present study, the effect of the designed bio-agent on mechanical properties of concrete (compressive strength and drying shrinkage) is investigated. The results indicate that the addition of immobilized Bacillus species with IONs in concrete matrix contributes to increasing the compressive strength. Moreover, the precipitates in the bio-concrete specimen were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The characterization studies confirm that the precipitated crystals in bio-concrete specimen were CaCO3, while no precipitation was observed in the control sample.


Concrete Bacteria Immobilization Iron oxide nanoparticle Compressive strength Drying shrinkage 


Funding information

This investigation was financially supported by The University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study 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 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mostafa Seifan
    • 1
  • Ajit K. Sarmah
    • 2
  • Ali Khajeh Samani
    • 3
  • Alireza Ebrahiminezhad
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Younes Ghasemi
    • 5
  • Aydin Berenjian
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Engineering, Faculty of Science and EngineeringThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFederation University AustraliaBallaratAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, and Non-Communicable Diseases Research CentreFasa University of Medical SciencesFasaIran
  5. 5.Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Centre, and Department of Medical Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and TechnologiesShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran

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