Flexible Fungal Materials: Shaping the Future

Antonio Gandia, Jeroen van den Brandhof, Freek Appels, Mitchell P. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fungi are a revolutionary, smart, and sustainable manufacturing platform that can be used to upcycle byproducts and wastes into flexible fungal materials (FFMs) such as chitin- and β-glucan-based foams, paper, and textiles. With highly adaptable manufacturing pathways, the efficiency and properties of these materials depend on the biomass source and fermentation method. Liquid substrates provide fast, upscalable, and compact production processes but are susceptible to contamination and are limited to paper-like materials for printing, wound dressings, and membranes. Solid-state fermentation is cheaper but struggles to deliver homogeneous fungal growth and is used to produce fungal foams for packaging, insulation, textiles, and leather substitutes. The broad range of applications and uses of biological organisms in materials hallmarks fungi as forerunners in improving environmental sustainability globally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1331
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • biobased material
  • chitin nanopaper
  • foam
  • fungal mycelium
  • leather
  • manufacturing


Dive into the research topics of 'Flexible Fungal Materials: Shaping the Future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this