Following on from Javier’s work on the application of agarose gel as a soil analogue, his project introduced a novel application in which agarose gels can be used for the development of early-stage demonstrators, by allowing an easier monitoring and greater control over the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of the environment. Thus allowing testing to be performed to identify the pore pressure dissipation behaviour and be used as a proof of concept due to its mechanical performance and ideal microbial growth conditions.
Showing sample testing procedure
We are now investigating how S. pasteurii, grown in the hydrogel, induces calcium carbonate precipitation. MICP is defined as microbial-induced calcite precipitation and we use this process to produce a material that changes in strength in response to environmental factors as part of the Thinking Soils project. Seen here through careful observation of the calcite formations, through light microscope images and through high magnification scanning electron microscope ‘SEM’ images.