Using Fungal Mycelium for Electronics
Researchers have been exploring sustainable alternatives for electronic materials due to the increasing generation of electronic waste. In a recent study published in Science Advances, a team of scientists introduced a novel approach called MycelioTronics, which utilizes fungal mycelium as a biodegradable substrate for electronic devices.
Traditionally, these components have been made using materials such as polymers and plastics, which are difficult to recycle. The use of fungal mycelium, specifically the Ganoderma lucidum fungus, offers a sustainable alternative. The mycelium grows naturally on dead hardwood and can be efficiently and scalably cultivated to form a mycelium “skin".
The mycelium skin can be used as a biodegradable substrate for electronic circuit boards. High thermal stability allows for the processing of electrical components on top of the mycelium skin using standard techniques like soldering. Metallic films can be deposited on the harvested mycelium skins, creating circuit paths. The researchers also propose the concept of mycelium batteries, using the mycelium skin as both battery separators and casings. This opens up the possibility of creating fully biodegradable and sustainable electronic devices.