A review of recent advances in fungal mycelium based composites

Chathura Madusanka, Dhanushka Udayanga, Renuka Nilmini, Suranga Rajapaksha, Choolaka Hewawasam, Dimuthu Manamgoda, Juliana Vasco-Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The increasing global population and rapid urbanization have led to high consumer demand for construction and other raw materials. Manufacturing of synthetic material usually generate a large amount of waste, resulting in significant environmental impact. Fungi are one of the key biological resources that can be used to develop a wide range of sustainable products including biodegradable materials with promising applications, with zero waste generation during the production process. Mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus can be shaped either into pure mycelium materials or composites. Mycelium can grow its network in lignocellulosic material, combining separate pieces into a solid material which results in Mycelium-Based Composites (MBCs). The attributes of MBCs are influenced by the fungal species, the growth substrate, and the processing conditions. Both pure mycelium materials and MBCs have remarkable advantages as versatile materials because they are porous, elastic, low-density, low-cost and eco-friendly materials with potential applications in various industries. In this review, we provide an overview of the latest developments MBCs considering the possibility of using mycelium for the material-driven design (MDD) approach, and the potential of genetic and biochemical modifications to enhance mycelium properties. We therefore encourage researchers in material science and fungal biotechnology to strengthen their collaborative efforts and address the current challenges in this innovative field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalDiscover Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Metals and Alloys

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