Mind the Fungi
Open Lab Night | Bioprocess Engineering
The Art & Science project Mind the Fungi is a cooperation between the Institute of Biotechnology at the TU Berlin and Art Laboratory Berlin and is dedicated to the research of local fungi and lichens. Scientists of the Department of Bioprocess Engineering will give short presentations to give an insight into the world of lichens and their potential for new natural products is presented. Afterwards, production tools, in particular bioreactors, that are used to reproduce the lichen cultures and their valuable materials, will be presented. There is also the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with the material – even under the microscope. Using lichens from the environment, experimental methods for isolation and characterization in laboratory experiments will be shown and the morphology of the symbiosis observed under the microscope.
Lichens represent a symbiosis of algae and fungi. Fungi and lichens offer a resource of diverse substances, the spectrum ranges from compounds to fine and basic chemicals such as bioplastic components to valuable food components and even building materials. In the case of lichens, the cultivation for the production of such diverse products is still at the beginning. Appropriate isolation and subsequent bioprocess optimization should greatly shorten growth times and unlock the potential for producing valuable substances.
The bioengineering research is expanded through artistic and design-based approaches. The Institute of Biotechnology works together with Berlin artists and designers to develop new ideas and technologies for the mushroom and lichen-based materials of the future and would like to involve the public in these developments.