Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Living Skin Made of Fungus Inspires Multifunctional Sensors

    Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and the University of the West of England have developed a living skin made of fungus, drawing inspiration from the film “The Terminator.” The researchers aim to create a biodegradable and multifunctional sensor coating for electronics. Current electronic sensors made of silicone have limitations, such as difficulty in manufacturing and limited detection capabilities.

    The researchers coated a seven-inch Terminator figurine with Ganoderma sessile, a type of fungus that can grow in various conditions. After just five days inside an incubator, the fungus covered the figurine completely, making it sensitive to both light and touch. The researchers refer to the fungus as a “living, self-regenerating, and reactive Ganoderma sessile mycelium,” which turned the figurine into a “bio-cybernetic entity.”

    Although the project is considered a proof of concept at this stage, the researchers hope that their research will pave the way for the development of living skins that can be used, for example, to coat buildings and regulate their temperature. The concept extends beyond creating a skin-like material; it involves creating bio-cybernetic systems that can be seamlessly integrated into everyday life.

    By utilizing mycelium, the researchers believe they are pushing the boundaries of what is achievable and opening doors to a future where bio-cybernetic systems become a part of our daily lives.

    – New Scientist
    – University of the West of England