A numerical bio-geotechnical model of pressure-responsive Microbially-Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation

Jianye Wang, Helen Mitrani, Anil Wipat, Polly Moreland, Jamie Haystead, Meng Zhang, Martyn Dade-Robertson*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The employment of Microbially Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation (MICP) is of increasing interest as a technique for environmentally sustainable soil stabilisation. Recent advancements in synthetic biology have allowed for the conception of a pressure response MICP process, wherein bacteria are engineered to sense environmental loads, thereby offering the potential to stabilize specific soil regions selectively. In this study, a 2D smart bio-geotechnical model is proposed based on a pressure responsive MICP system. Experimentally obtained pressure responsive genes and hypothetical genes with different pressure responses were applied in the model and two soil profiles were evaluated. The resulting model bridges scales from gene expression within bacteria cells to geotechnical simulations. The results show that both strata and gene expression-pressure relationships have a significant influence on the distribution pattern of calcium carbonate precipitation within the soil matrix. Among the evaluated experimental genes, Gene A demonstrates the best performance in both two soil profiles due to the effective stabilization in the centre area beneath the load, while Genes B and C are more effective in reinforcing peripheral regions. Furthermore, when the hypothetical genes are utilized, there is an increasing stabilization area with a decreased threshold value.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2854
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2024

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