Materials produced with mycelium can offer a sustainable solution to today’s conventional building and crafting materials. In fact, waste streams can be upcycled to produce either pure mycelium materials or composite mycelium materials. Pure mycelium materials are grown on a substrate that can be separated from the fungus afterwards. They can be used to craft for instance leather-like or textile materials. For composite materials, a substrate is colonized by mycelium. They can be purposed as insulation, packaging or construction materials.
We are studying how we can change the properties of mycelium materials by varying the fungal species, the substrate, the environmental growth conditions and the processing of the materials. By doing so, we were the first to describe wood-, polyethylene-, polyvinylchloride- and rubber-like materials. We not only focus on mechanical properties but also study bioactive properties such as the ability to stimulate the immune system.