Using Biotech to make living, self-sustaining buildings is a new level of innovation which could revolutionize construction engineering. The ‘Materials For Life‘ Project in Wales (UK) is literally producing stones which self-repair and resist erosion!
The University of Cardiff (Wales) leads a team with the University of Bath (SW England) and the University of Cambridge in the first ever UK trial of a living, self-healing concrete prototype. Since it is estimated that around £40Bn (€56Bn) a year is spent on building repair and structural maintenance in the UK alone (and $2.2Tn in the US), this self-healing organic concrete could change the future of building materials.
This is science-fiction, surely…
‘Self-healing’ polymers have been investigated for Biomimetic properties for a while (seeing as biomimicry is a major source of Biotech innovation!), using nano-tubes or encapsulated ‘healing agents’ to plug the gap and harden cracks.
Such non-biological materials include silicone polymers like polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS),