Thora Arnardottir was the receiver of the Macromolecular Bioscience Best Poster Prize, awarded by Macromolecular Journal, where she attended and presented a poster of her PhD work at BIOMIN XV 15th International Symposium on Biomineralization, Munich, Germany. Her work focuses on a process-oriented approach to biologically induced materials and advanced fabrication practices with bacterial sculpting.
This research explores the potential design role of bacterial-induced biomineralization. It concentrates on structuring a biofabrication process whose purpose is to partly control the physical geometry of a microbial induced mineralized structure. The experimental approach entails an exploration of established procedures and the testing of novel physical apparatuses that are in part bioreactors and part moulding vessels. These enable the biomaterial synthesis through the alteration and control of chemical, spatial and structural compositions of the environment. In this setting, the bacteria, Sporosarcina pasteurii, is mixed in with sand in nutrient solution and grown overnight. This allowed the culture to situate itself within the grain before being flushed at intervals with the cementation media of nutrient broth, urea, and CaCI2 over a few days. The change in compositions led to a framework to reach biomineralization at given points and, by optimising the biofabrication process, obtaining fully cemented pieces through the hybrid moulding, bioreactor technique.