Biodegradation of Materials

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Life in general and microbes in particular have modified our planet deeply, being responsible for the oxygenation of the atmosphere or for most of the mineral species that can now be found on Earth.  The impact of living organisms on the mechanical and/or chemical degradation of materials has long been acknowledged to be ubiquitous: from the bio-erosion of rocky shorelines to the formation of soils through mineral degradation, and from bio-corrosion of architectural heritages to ships’ biofouling. With the exploration of life science and the development of synthetic biology, biofilms express strong potentials to serve as a living functional material, provide a steady stream of inspiration for the development of green biomimetic materials. The living functional biofilm materials for corrosion protection are desired.

This new themed Collection of npj Materials Degradation aims to gain insight into the bio-degradation and/or bio-protection of materials in the broadest sense of the term, by gathering experimental or theoretical studies investigating bio-corrosion of metals and alloys, bioleaching, bio-weathering and bio-erosion of rocks and minerals, bio-conservation of stones of cultural heritage and bio-protection against corrosion. 

The topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Chemical weathering of minerals and rocks mediated by living organisms;
  • Bioerosion of rocks and anthropogenic materials;
  • Bioleaching of metals from ores;
  • Biocorrosion of metals and alloys and microbiologically influenced corrosion inhibition;
  • Bioprotection of materials from weathering and corrosion

We welcome the submission of any paper related to biodegradations of materials. All submissions will be subject to the same peer-review process and editorial standards as regular npj Materials Degradation Articles. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests with the submissions which they have handled through the peer-review process.

Green bacteria on dark grey slate background.


  • Damien Daval

    Professor, Institute for Earth Sciences (ISTerre), France

  • Dake Xu

    Professor, Northeastern University, China

About the Guest Editors


Guest Editor Damien DavalDamien Daval is a CNRS research scientist working at the Institute for Earth Sciences (ISTerre). After graduating in physical chemistry (University of Grenoble, France), he obtained a PhD in geochemistry from the University of Paris 7 in 2009.  After a two-year postdoc at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, he was appointed at the LHyGeS (Strasbourg, France) in 2012 where he worked until 2021 before moving to ISTerre. His research aims at linking the microstructural modifications of the surface of dissolving geomaterials (silicate and carbonate minerals, silicate glass) to their aqueous reactivity. The fields of application of his studies encompass fundamental and applied issues, ranging from ambient (hydration of cements, bioweathering) to hydrothermal (geothermics, CO2 sequestration) conditions.

Guest Editor Dake XuDake Xu is currently a professor in the school of materials science and engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China. He received his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology, Ohio University in 2013. His research interests are in the area of MIC and its mitigation, antibacterial and antifouling materials. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.