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Mycelium

created by: Casper Van Herzele, Basil Bataille, Maité Priëels

Vegetative part of fungus as material

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro. A typical single spore germinates into a monokaryotic mycelium, which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium, that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms. A mycelium may be so too small to see, or may grow to span thousands of acres.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium

Mycelium materials are getting more and more used.

The main characteristics of mycelium are that it is refractory, water-repellent, insulating and strong. This material offers enormous potential within the construction and packaging industries.
Specific parameters are required for the growth of mycelium. A moist environment and a constant temperature of ±27 degrees Celsius are required. To ensure that mycelium can be used in products without it growing any further, the mycelium must be baked in an oven.

Lab rules for mycelium

  • When the first time using the machines (autoclave, laminar flow, incubator) get info how to use them on this website and get an explanation of a responsible of the atelier first before using the machines​

  • Put a label on the materials you put in the incubator. The label needs to consist a date and name. Samples without labels will be removed, samples older than 2 weeks will be removed except if stated differently on the label!

  • Specific questions can be asked on the biofabforum. 

Don't know how to use the forum? Click on more information about biofab forum to get more info.

Interesting sources/webpages for mycelium

Creation of a BioFabLab in our atelier at UGent Campus Kortrijk

What is Mycelium material?

Vegetative part of fungus as material

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro. A typical single spore germinates into a monokaryotic mycelium, which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium, that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms. A mycelium may be so too small to see, or may grow to span thousands of acres.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium

Mycelium materials are getting more and more used.

The main characteristics of mycelium are that it is refractory, water-repellent, insulating and strong. This material offers enormous potential within the construction and packaging industries.
Specific parameters are required for the growth of mycelium. A moist environment and a constant temperature of ±27 degrees Celsius are required. To ensure that mycelium can be used in products without it growing any further, the mycelium must be baked in an oven.

Lab rules for mycelium

  • When the first time using the machines (autoclave, laminar flow, incubator) get info how to use them on this website and get an explanation of a responsible of the atelier first before using the machines​

  • Put a label on the materials you put in the incubator. The label needs to consist a date and name. Samples without labels will be removed, samples older than 2 weeks will be removed except if stated differently on the label!

  • Specific questions can be asked on the biofabforum. Don't know how to use the forum? Click on more information about biofab forum to get more info.

needed equipment for mycelium

  • spawns (we bought them at Mycelia)

  • Autoclave bags + autoclave tape available in the biolab

  • Different substrates (coffee, wood chips, fibers, etc. depending on the mycelium species). Woodchips available from milling in the atelier (make sure to only use woodchips from pure wood)

Interesting sources/webpages for mycelium

Creation of a BioFabLab in our atelier at UGent Campus Kortrijk

Manual how to make mycelium material

Coposition (1 bag)

Tap water        3l - 4l

Demi water      5l

Fibers              4 - 5 cups (woodchips,                                      hemp)

Mycelium         1/2 cup

Tools

  • sieve

  • bucket

  • autoclave bag

  • papertape

  • spoon

  • mixing bowl

  • balance

  • clingfilm

  • mold

  • pen/marker

  • autoclave

  • laminar flow

  • incubator

  • disinfecting alcohol

Uses and difficulty

Uses

New material for quick and dirty prototypes

Difficulty

**** (Dirty but easy and hygiene is key)

 
 
 
 

Recipe
PART I: fiber preparation

Step 1:

Fill the bucket with tap water and wash the fibers in it. Make sure all the fibers are well wetted.

Step 2:

Wring out the fibers well using the sieve and the strength of your own hands.

Step 3:

Then fill the autoclave bags in half. Fold over the edge of the autoclave twice and then tape it shut with paper tape. See photo for clarification.

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PART II: autoclave

Step 4:

Check that there is still water in the autoclave. If there is no water in it, fill the autoclave with demineralized water.

Step 5:

Place the filled autoclave bags in the autoclave and tighten the lid. This is done in star formation. Overhanging nuts are tightened first!!! This is very important because the autoclave can pop open if it is improperly closed. This is very dangerous because then hot water vapor and boiling water

Step 6:

Turn the knobs at the bottom of the autoclave horizontally with the marking to the left. This will ensure that a temperature of ±120°C is reached during heating and the timer will count down from that point. The timer is set to ±25 mintues.
After 25 minutes, let the autoclave cool down long enough before opening it. This is very hot and can be dangerous!

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PART III: laminar flow

Step 7:

Turn on the laminar flow and place all supplies in the laminar flow: filled, sterilized autoclave bags, balance, spoon, mixing bowl, cling film, mold and disinfecting alcohol. Then disinfect your own hands and all the materials that are in the laminar flow.

Step 8:

When everything is decontaminated, weigh out the amount of fiber and add the desired amount to the mixing bowl. Then take 10% of the weight of the fibers, this is the minimum amount of mycelium needed.

Step 9:

Mix the fibers and mycelium in the mixing bowl with the spoon. Finally, fill the mold and seal it with the cling film and tape.

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PART IV: incubator

Step 10:

After filling the mold, write with the marker on the foil the name of the owner and the day when it will be put in the incubator.

Step 11:

The incubator should be set to a maximum temperature of 27°C. This is the optimum growth temperature for the mycelium. Temperatures higher than 27°C will cause the mycelium to fry and stop growing.

Step 12:

Close the incubator and wait at least 2 weeks for the mycelium to grow optimally and find a way between the fibers.

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PART V: oven

Step 13:

After at least 2 weeks of growth, the mycelium can be baked in the oven. Remove the mycelium from the mold.

Step 14:

Set the oven to 80°C and put the mycelium in the oven. The mycelium will need to bake in the oven for at least 2 hours.
It is important to flip the sample every 20 minutes so that the moisture can gradually evaporate.

Step 15:

When you see that the sample is well baked and dry to the touch, turn off the oven. Your sample is ready!

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