Nice to find a small community of fellow myco-heads!
Just briefly, I recently quit my PhD in Finland due to a "gut feeling". As life is, a mushroom internship opportunity happened to fall into my place at the perfect time and as a mushroom dreamer, this is perfect! So, I will be able to get a decent amount of full-time mushrooming experience, whilst on the side, work on a small research project starting March
We are planning a small project that aims to produce a decent mycelium skin/leather that is relatively thin (less than 3 mm), can be stretched and works well under tension.
We plan to produce a number of skins using different strains, substrates, possible enhancing additives and post-treatment methods. We then hope to be able to manipulate and test the physical characteristics of these myco skins, such as flattening/heat-pressing thicker skins, stretching, drying/wetting and reworking, to see how thin and elastic we can get the myco-skin. Hoping to get access to the local university engineering lab. Would be nice to get some possible data from the project (Young's modulus, tensile strengths etc..)
A couple of things in mind to try will be kombucha scoby innoculants with various strains (as I've heard the scoby gives a nice flexible end product), different substrates, layering of thinner substrates and using bioresin as a glue, glycerol soaking, latex/rubber additions etc..
I am not sure what substrates will be the best to try.
Any interesting ideas similar to the scoby? Maybe some gelatin additions, aloe vera or other natural additions that could increase elasticity and work-ability?
Anyways, lots of research and planning to be done still. I also don't know if I'm planning too much for the time and resources I have, but that's half the fun ...
I just wanted to find out if anyone has any input/ideas that could assist/improve/or add to the project?
Thanks and I look forward to some discussions