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Bio-cement Oyster Revitalization

Creating new homes for oyster larvae in the Chesapeake Bay

Sand, S. Pasturii, growth media, 3D printer, bioreactor, casting molds, water pumps

2018, ongoing

Assisted in researching and developing bio-cement casting and 3D printing methods as a sustainable substrate for prosthetic oyster shells. Oysters are a natural water remediators and overharvesting oysters has left a huge environmental impact on the heavily polluted Chesapeake Bay. Oyster revitalization initiatives rely on oyster shell donations from restaurants which takes a long time to remove harmful bacteria or by dumping cement structures into the bay. Cement has become a common oyster shell substitute but has negative effects on the environment and a not very effective oyster larvae landing site. Bio-cement is an environmentally friendly substrate created bacteria S. pasteurii that precipitates calcite. When mixed and cast with a material like sand, it calcifies it to make a solid material. And above all, closer emulates the natural materials found in natural oyster shells.


Part of MICA Co-Lab class led by Professor, Ryan Hoover, in collaboration with The Chesapeake Bay Horn Point Laboratory and The Baltimore Underground Science Space. Students, professors, chemists and biologists have been contributing to this project since 2017 and is still ongoing. Scientific findings are in the process of being published.

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