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The effects of calcium–silicate–hydrate (C–S–H) seeds on reference microorganisms

Augustyniak, Adrian; Sikora, Pawel; Jablonska, Joanna; Cendrowski, Krzysztof; John, Elisabeth; Stephan, Dietmar; Mijowska, Ewa

FG Baustoffe und Bauchemie

Building materials are constantly improved with various additives and admixtures in order to achieve goals ranging from obtaining increased durability or antimicrobial activity up to reducing the carbon footprint left by the cement production. Since nanomaterials were proposed for cement products, many studies explored the possibilities for their incorporation. One of the novel trends in studying these materials is evaluating their impact on living organisms, with the focus not only on toxicology but also on the application potential. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effects of three types of calcium–silicate–hydrate (C–S–H) seeds on reference microorganisms in the scope of their basic physiology and primary metabolism. Shape, size and elemental composition of C–S–H seeds were also evaluated. The tests on the reference microorganisms have shown that the reaction to these nanomaterials can be specific and depends on the strain as well as the type of used nanomaterial. Furthermore, the presence of C–S–H seeds in the growth environment led to metabolic stimulation that resulted in faster growth, higher biochemical activity, and increased biofilm formation. Based on our findings, we conclude that even though C–S–H seeds have antimicrobial potential, they can be potentially used to promote the growth of selected microbial strains. This phenomenon could be further investigated towards the formation of beneficial biofilms on building materials.