“Construction Materials Inspired from Nature” by ÖzÜ Faculty Member Asst. Prof. Zeynep Başaran Bundur
Women Scientists produce for sustainability!
The word concrete brings to mind the cold facade of cities. The statement ‘’ We're buried in concrete brings to the fore the death-evoking aspect of cement, which is in fact simply a construction material. Dr. Zeynep Başaran Bundur from the Civil Engineering Department at Özyeğin University made an invention that could change this perspective. By adding living additives to cement through the biomineralization method, Dr. Bundur succeeded in transforming concrete into a self-healing and almost living material.
Due to its brittle nature concrete cracks , therefore the self-healing ability of concrete is a very essential in terms of increaseing the service life of concrete materials for a sustainabile future. After extensive studies conducted with innovative methods, scientists have begun to use the biomineralization method for self-healing. Dr. Bundur also steers her studies towards this direction, as she studies on alternative cost efficient methods on incorporating bacterial cells to cement -based mixture to provide the self-healing ability. .
In this context, she conducted and brought to a successful completion TÜBİTAK 3501 project entitled “Biomineralization for Self-Healing Cement-Based Materials”, and TÜBİTAK 1005 project entitled “Bio-Based Admixtures to Modify Rheology of Cement-Based Materials”. Dr. Bundur is currently working on “Natural minerals as a Protection Barrier for Microorganisms in Self-Healing Mortars” project, which is funded by TÜBİTAK 1001 program and expected to be completed in 2022.
Meanwhile, her invention “Cement-Based Compositions with Improved Rheological Properties and Methods For Production Thereof”, which she developed in the fields of “Cement-Based Binders and Mortar Injections For Healing Cracks”, has been registered as a patent, and has a Technology Readiness Level of 3.
Dr. Bundur is currently developing a sustainable cement-based mortar suitable for 3D printers within the scope of her project “Concrete-3D: Manufacturing Fiber-Equipped Cement-Based Composites with 3D Printers”, which is funded under TÜBİTAK 1001 program. Here, she is proposing to adapt her invention on cement-based materials to 3D-printing of concrete.
Self-healing is the ability of concrete to heal the cracks without any external application. Biomineralization is a biochemical process in which microorganisms stimulate the formation of minerals. In this system, calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is induced by leveraging the metabolic activity of microorganism and self-healing is obtained by sealing of the cracks with CaCO3 .
Contribution to Sustainability
The 9th sustainable development goal, SDG-9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, is crucial for promoting sustainable industries, increasing efficiency with due care to environmental issues, investing in innovation, and fostering entrepreneurship. Dr. Bundur’s studies also contribute to SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, with their focus on environment and communities, to SDG - 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, with their multi-disciplinarity, and SDG - 17 Partnerships for the Goals, with the partnerships they forge.
 Mahzad Azima, Zeynep Başaran Bundur “Use of Sporosarcina pasteurii cells as rheology modifying admixtures in cement-based materials" Construction and Building Materials , v. 225 (2019), pp. 1086-1097. ISBN
 Ali Amiri, Mahzad Azima, Zeynep Başaran Bundur “Crack remediation in mortar via biomineralization: Effects of chemical admixtures on biogenic calcium carbonate” Construction and Building Materials, v. 190 (2018), pp. 317-325. ISBN
 Mahzad Azima, Zeynep Başaran Bundur “A bio-based rheology modifying agent inspired from nature” Eskişehir Technical University Journal of Science and Technology A - Applied Sciences and Engineering, v. 20 (2019), pp 252-260. DOI: 10.18038/estubtda.624444