We had the pleasure of meeting, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and Principal Investigator at the Future Cities Laboratories Global, part of the Singapore - ETH Centre.
Hortense's research group merges sustainable manufacturing methods with microstructural designs, aiming to craft high-performance materials for diverse applications. Many microstructural designs take inspiration from natural materials.
Her mycelium research is a collaborative effort with architects from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Together, they delve into mycelium's potential for renewable construction. This research receives funding from the National Research Foundation of Singapore and ETH Zurich.
At NTU, Hortense's team examines the interconnectedness between processes, structures, growth, performance, and sustainability. They delve into mycelium materials at both microscopic and macroscopic levels.
A notable project involves creating porous woodpile-like structures using mycelium-bound composites to enhance mycelium skin production and overall stiffness.
Prior research assessed composite biodegradability in Singaporean soil and sustainable indoor coatings. Beeswax emerged as an effective coating, bolstering mechanical properties. The team also discovered that broken mycelium-bound composites grown on bamboo can be readily recycled into fresh composites with a slight increase in mechanical properties due to denser packing.
An ongoing collaboration with Singapore's BioSEA Ltd Pte focuses on developing mycelium tiles inspired by elephant skin for thermal management.
Another ongoing project and paper delves into 3D printing mycelium materials. More to come on that front!
Learn more and access the team's research papers:
⌭ @hortenseleferrand (LinkedIn)