The bio-hack academy is focussing on bio-materials and living organisms this week. Since i have a big obsession with food and fermentation this sounded like a really interesting class to join.

Mycelium material-bank

We started with making a material-bank for mycelium.

First we needed food for the mycelium. This consists of the following ingredients:

  • Peptone (containing animal protein, but a vegan peptone is available)

  • Agar

  • Malt

  • Water

This mixture is placed in a glass bottle in a pressure-cooker to sterilize.

Next we poured the mixture in a petri-dish. It is very important to work VERY sterile. We disinfected the table and our gloves and used a gas burner to keep the air around clean.

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We waited to the mixture to solidify, forming a gel-like substance.

When the mixture was solid, we scraped a bit of mycelium of a mother-bank and impregnated our petri.

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We sealed the petri and placed it in an incubator. After two weeks we should have enough mycelium to work with.

Instead of using the normal mycelium mother i used tempeh starter (Rhizopus Oligosporis and Rhizopus Oryzae).

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Using SCOBY culture as biomaterial

Next we watched a lecture about using a SCOBY as biomaterial. We saw multiple applications, which gave me a lot in inspiration.

I didn’t follow along with the SCOBY making since i have an overflow of SCOBY’s because of my fermentation project.

Some projects i’d like to do with SCOBY:

  • A cover for my notebook out of SCOBY leather.

  • A phone cover.

  • Using SCOBY as a conductor to incorporate into my electronic designs (RESEARCH -> conducting properties of cellulose).

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Setting up a SCOBY for SCOBY-leather

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After 20 days

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Then i washed the SCOBY with water and soap to make it less sticky.

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I set-up a few different experiments to try with the leather.

I rubbed one piece with tung-oil, i put two pieces on different textures, i left one raw and i put two pieces on top of each other to glue them together.

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I places all the SCOBY’s in the dehydrator on 70* for 12h.

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Results

There was a big difference between the SCOBY with oil and without.

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The SCOBY with oil was more flexible and less brittle compared to the SCOBY without oil.

There was a high level of detail visible in SCOBY’s placed on a texture.

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The pieces stacked on top of each other glued together as if it was one piece.