Mechanical characteristics of bacterial cellulose-reinforced mycelium composite materials

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BACKGROUND: While mycelium is considered a promising alternative for fossil-based resins in lignocellulosic materials, the mechanical properties of mycelium composite materials remain suboptimal, among other reasons due to the weak internal bonds between the hyphae and the natural fibres. A solution could be provided by the hybridisation of mycelium materials with organic additives. More specifically, bacterial cellulose seems to be a promising additive that could result in reinforcing mycelium composites; however, this strategy is underreported in scientific literature.

RESULTS: In this study, we set out to investigate the mechanical properties of mycelium composites, produced with the white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor, and supplemented with bacterial cellulose as an organic additive. A methodological framework is developed for the facile production of bacterial cellulose and subsequent fabrication of mycelium composite particle boards based on a hybrid substrate consisting of bacterial cellulose and hemp in combination with a heat-pressing approach. We found that, upon adding bacterial cellulose, the internal bond of the composite particle boards significantly improved.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of bacterial cellulose to mycelium composite materials not only results in a strengthening of internal bonding of mycelium material, but also renders tuneable mechanical properties to the material. As such, this study contributes to the ongoing development of fully biological hybrid materials with performant mechanical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages14
JournalFungal biology and biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2021

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© 2021. The Author(s).


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