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



Review Article