University of Oulu

Sgarlata C, Dal Poggetto G, Piccolo F, Catauro M, Traven K, Češnovar M, Nguyen H, Yliniemi J, Barbieri L, Ducman V, Lancellotti I and Leonelli C (2021) Antibacterial Properties and Cytotoxicity of 100% Waste Derived Alkali Activated Materials: Slags and Stone Wool-Based Binders. Front. Mater. 8:689290. doi: 10.3389/fmats.2021.689290

Antibacterial properties and cytotoxicity of 100% waste derived alkali activated materials : slags and stone wool-based binders

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Author: Sgarlata, Caterina1; Dal Poggetto, Giovanni1; Piccolo, Federica1;
Organizations: 1Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
2Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Aversa, Italy
3Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute-ZAG, Ljubljana, Slovenia
4Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-27


In this study we compare the leaching behavior and the antibacterial and cytotoxic properties of 100% slag or stone wool derived alkali activated materials. The antibacterial activity was measured as the inhibiting capacity against two Gram-negative bacterial strains, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and one Gram-positive bacterial strain: Enterococcus faecalis. The cytotoxicity properties were tested on mouse embryonic fibroblast NIH-3T3 cell-line. It was proved that the high quality of the 3D aluminosilicate network of the consolidated materials obtained from powders of CaO or MgO-rich slags or stone wool, opportunely activated with NaO and/or Na-silicate, was capable of stabilizing heavy metal cations. The concentrations of leachate heavy cations were lower than the European law limit when tested in water. The effect of additives in the composites, basal fibers or nanocellulose, did not reduce the chemical stability and slightly influenced the compressive strength. Weight loss in water increased by 20% with basalt fibers addition, while it remained almost constant when nanocellulose was added. All the consolidated materials, cement-like in appearance, exhibited limited antibacterial properties (viability from 50 to 80% depending on the bacterial colony and the amount of sample) and absence of cytotoxicity, envisaging good acceptance from part of the final consumer and zero ecological impact. CaO-rich formulations can replace ordinary Portland cement (showing bacterial viability at 100%) with a certain capability for preventing the reproduction of the E. coli and S. aureus bacteria with health and environmental protection results.

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Series: Frontiers in materials
ISSN: 2296-8016
ISSN-E: 2296-8016
ISSN-L: 2296-8016
Volume: 8
Article number: 689290
DOI: 10.3389/fmats.2021.689290
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
212 Civil and construction engineering
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This research was supported by funds from the ERA-MIN two Project « FLOW–Lightweight alkali activated composite foams based on secondary raw materials » Project No. C 3330-18-252010,
Copyright information: © 2021 Sgarlata, Dal Poggetto, Piccolo, Catauro, Traven, Češnovar, Nguyen, Yliniemi, Barbieri, Ducman, Lancellotti and Leonelli. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.