alexa Consolidation of archaeological gypsum plaster by bacterial biomineralization of calcium carbonate.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology

Author(s): Jroundi F, GonzalezMuoz MT, GarciaBueno A, RodriguezNavarro C

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Abstract Gypsum plasterworks and decorative surfaces are easily degraded, especially when exposed to humidity, and thus they require protection and/or consolidation. However, the conservation of historical gypsum-based structural and decorative materials by conventional organic and inorganic consolidants shows limited efficacy. Here, a new method based on the bioconsolidation capacity of carbonatogenic bacteria inhabiting the material was assayed on historical gypsum plasters and compared with conventional consolidation treatments (ethyl silicate; methylacrylate-ethylmethacrylate copolymer and polyvinyl butyral). Conventional products do not reach in-depth consolidation, typically forming a thin impervious surface layer which blocks pores. In contrast, the bacterial treatment produces vaterite (CaCO3) biocement, which does not block pores and produces a good level of consolidation, both at the surface and in-depth, as shown by drilling resistance measurement system analyses. Transmission electron microscopy analyses show that bacterial vaterite cement formed via oriented aggregation of CaCO3 nanoparticles (∼20nm in size), resulting in mesocrystals which incorporate bacterial biopolymers. Such a biocomposite has superior mechanical properties, thus explaining the fact that drilling resistance of bioconsolidated gypsum plasters is within the range of inorganic calcite materials of equivalent porosity, despite the fact that the bacterial vaterite cement accounts for only a 0.02 solid volume fraction. Bacterial bioconsolidation is proposed for the effective consolidation of this type of material. The potential applications of bacterial calcium carbonate consolidation of gypsum biomaterials used as bone graft substitutes are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Acta Biomater and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology

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