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Current state and future progress of pure mycelium materials

Simon Vandelook (VUB)

Simon Vandelook, PhD student from the microbiology research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). Ba in Biology and Ma in molecular and cellular life sciences. His goal is to contribute towards the advance of sustainable and bio-based material fabrication through studying the biology of micro-organisms. For this he decided to work on fungal mycelium as their use spans over a wide and versatile range of applications, more specific as a leather-like material. Additionally, the molecular biology of filamentous fungi remains a largely understudied research area.

Project Description

His PhD research topic is: Genetic engineering of filamentous fungi for improved mycelium leather production and applications.

He is studying specific genetic elements and their potential involvement on biological features that can lead to improved properties for mycelium materials.

He is also working on a small lab-scale solid-state fermentation setup that promotes growth of aerial hyphae into foam-like phenotype.

His presentation aims to review aspects of current mycelium material production; fermentation strategies, fungal leather, processing and functionalization of mycelium, improving production strains, upscaling challenges and future applications.

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