Evaluation of Cyclic Healing Potential of Bacteria-Based Self-Healing Cementitious Composites

Ismael Justo Reinoso, Bianca Reeksting, Andrew Heath, Susanne Gebhard, Kevin Paine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


At present, little evidence exists regarding the capability of bacteria-based self-healing (BBSH) cementitious materials to successfully re-heal previously healed cracks. This paper investigates the repeatability of the self-healing of BBSH mortars when the initially healed crack is reopened at a later age (20 months) and the potential of encapsulated bacterial spores to heal a new crack generated at 22 months after casting. The results show that BBSH cement mortar cracks that were successfully healed at an early age were not able to successfully re-heal when cracks were reformed in the same location 20 months later, even when exposed to favourable conditions (i.e., high humidity, temperature, calcium source, and nutrients) to promote their re-healing. Therefore, it is likely that not enough bacterial spores were available within the initially healed crack to successfully start a new self-healing cycle. However, when entirely new cracks were intentionally generated at a different position in 22-month-old mortars, these new cracks were able to achieve an average healing ratio and water tightness of 93.3% and 90.8%, respectively, thus demonstrating that the encapsulated bacterial spores remained viable inside the cementitious matrix. The results reported in this paper provide important insights into the appropriate design of practical self-healing concrete and, for the first time, show limitations of the ability of BBSH concrete to re-heal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6845
Number of pages15
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022


  • MICP
  • bacteria
  • biomineralization
  • cyclic healing
  • later age
  • re-healing
  • self-healing concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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