Dense and continuous networks of aerial hyphae improve flexibility and shape retention of mycelium composite in the wet state

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The mycelium composites composed of fungal mycelium and plant substrate are a practical alternative to petroleum plastic-based foam materials. However, the effects of the physiological traits of fungus on the composites’ microscopic structure and mechanical properties remain poorly understood. Here, we compared two basidiomycetes with distinct mycelium morphology and white-decay modes. Cross-sectional observation revealed that the mycelium composites possess a core/shell structure with the shell formed of dense aerial mycelium and the core of plant particles and spongy aerial mycelium. Dense and continuous mycelium networks provided by Trametes hirsuta strengthen the mechanical properties of the composite compared to the coarse mycelium networks of Pleurotus ostreatus. In particular, the firm mycelial shell skeleton confers high flexibility and shape-retention to the composite in the wet state. This unique characteristic of the mycelium composite indicates its potentials in new industrial applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106688
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • 11831 Plant biology
  • 11832 Microbiology and virology
  • Biocomposite
  • A Mechanical properties
  • B Electron microscopy
  • D Fungal mycelium

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