Delft University of Technology (Henk Jonkers and Civil Engineering & Geosciences)
Concrete is one of the main materials used in the construction industry, from the foundation of buildings to the structure of bridges and underground parking lots. The problem with traditional concrete however is the formation of cracks. This has negative consequences for the durability of the material. With the help of special bacteria, concrete is now able to heal itself. These bacteria are called extremophiles, because they love to live in extreme conditions. In dry concrete for example they will not only live, but they will actively produce copious amounts of limestone. With this calcium carbonate-based material the little construction workers can actively repair occurring cracks in a concrete structure.