Probiotic Wall Tiles: Ceramic Tiles containing Bacillus subtilis – Richard Beckett: Part of the NOTBAD project with Dr Sean Nair and Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa
NOTBAD was a research project funded by the AHRC: AH/R001987/1
These probiotic wall tiles are biologically seeded with living bacterial cells that are able to inhibit the growth of MRSA. These tiles define a new approach to creating animate indoor materials and surfaces for buildings that contain living bacterial communities which aim to directly influence the indoor microbiome towards healthier buildings. In this case, the tiles can reduce human exposure to pathogenic microbes and limit the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in buildings.
The multimaterial tiles contain zones of porous and non-porous ceramic, were computationally designed and cast into 2 part rubber moulds made from 3D printed positives. The tiles were then sterilised and inoculated with bacterial cells to prevent the growth of pathogens on the surface.
SEM images showing the material porosity at 10x magnification and the bacterial cells dispersed within the material matrix as a biofilm at 2500x magnification
Computational Design: Four tile types were designed that can tesselate in different orientations to create variability. Porous, biological zones on each tile were designed to allow for more or less biological activity which can be spatially informed by microbial survey of the building.