Bio-Based Self-Healing Concrete: From Research to Field Application

  • Eirini Tziviloglou
  • Kim Van Tittelboom
  • Damian Palin
  • Jianyun Wang
  • M. Guadalupe Sierra-Beltrán
  • Yusuf Çagatay Erşan
  • Renée Mors
  • Virginie Wiktor
  • Henk M. JonkersEmail author
  • Erik Schlangen
  • Nele De Belie
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 273)


Cracks are intrinsic concrete characteristics. However, cracking can endanger the durability of a structure, because it eases the ingress of aggressive gasses and liquids. Traditional practices tackle the problem by applying manual repair. Scientists inspired by nature have created self-healing concrete able to self-repair as a result of the metabolic activity of bacteria. Various research groups have studied bio-based self-healing concepts over the last decade. Although the metabolic pathways of different bacteria can vary, the principle is essentially the same: a bio-based healing agent is incorporated into fresh concrete and when a crack appears in hardened concrete the bacteria become active, precipitate limestone and seal the open crack. Bio-based self-healing concrete technology targets the recovery of the original performance of concrete by regaining water tightness lost by cracking. Along these lines, bio-based repair systems have also been developed to protect existing structures by applying materials that are more concrete-compatible and environmentally friendly than existing repair materials. All these innovative concepts have shown promising results in laboratory-scale tests. Steps have been taken towards the first full-scale outdoor applications, which will prove the functionality of this new technology.


Bacteria Calcium carbonate precipitation Concrete Crack sealing Repair systems 



The authors acknowledge the financial support of European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no 309451 (HEALCON), the financial support of European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no 290308 (Marie Curie Program action SHeMat “Training Network for Self-Healing materials: From Concepts to Markets”) and the financial support from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (IOP grants SHM012020 and SHM01018).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eirini Tziviloglou
    • 1
  • Kim Van Tittelboom
    • 2
  • Damian Palin
    • 1
  • Jianyun Wang
    • 2
  • M. Guadalupe Sierra-Beltrán
    • 1
  • Yusuf Çagatay Erşan
    • 2
  • Renée Mors
    • 1
  • Virginie Wiktor
    • 1
  • Henk M. Jonkers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erik Schlangen
    • 1
  • Nele De Belie
    • 2
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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