Mycelium-based Materials for product design
One of the challenges of this century is to transform our current economy into an eco-friendly and self-sustaining system. An innovative approach is the use of mycelium for the development of materials.
Mycelium is an interwoven network of fungal filamentous cells called hyphae. Fungi form these mycelia on a wide variety of organic substrates. Mushroom forming fungi are known for their efficient colonization of ligno-cellulosic substrates like wood and straw. In a project of NWO Creative Industry we have developed sub-millimeter to centimeter thick layers of pure mycelium of a mushroom forming fungus. Depending on growth conditions and treatment, materials have been obtained that resemble paper, rubber, plastic and wood.
In this project, we aim to develop a palette of mycelium-based composite materials with different physical properties ranging from elastic to rigid, water-absorbing to water-repellent, and porous to compact. The IDE Post Doc researcher will characterize the material experientially and will provide further feedback for the further development of the material through user input.