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BacillaFilla is a genetically engineered strain of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis which was developed by a group of students at Newcastle University in order to repair cracks in concrete in 2010 as part of an International Genetically Engineered Machine competition.[1]

The bacteria would be released as spores which would germinate upon coming into contact with the pH of concrete.[1] Upon germination, the bacteria would descend into cracks in the concrete. The bacteria use quorum sensing to determine when enough bacteria have accumulated, triggering production of a mixture of calcium carbonate and a "bacterial glue", which combines with the bacterial cells to fill the crack. This mixture hardens to be as strong as the surrounding concrete.[1][2]

Prolonging the life of concrete could reduce CO2 emissions derived from concrete production.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Clay Dillow (16 November 2010). "Engineered Bacteria Can Fill Cracks in Aging Concrete". Popular Science. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Press release: Cracks in your concrete? – You need 'BacillaFilla'". Newcastle University. 12 November 2010. Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Genetically Modified Bacteria Can Fix Cracked Concrete | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building". Inhabitat. 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 

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