Bio-engineered Wood

Microorganisms (fungi, algae, lichens and bacteria) can colonize biofilms, shorten their life span, impair their function and aesthetic appearance and cause hygienic problems. Most fungi are considered to be a public safety hazardalthough the beneficial effects of fungi far outweigh their negative. If they are applied selectively they can optimize material properties. For pure and appliedresearch we use a range of fungal species and enzymes to positively enhance the properties of wood. The application of wood inhabiting fungi results ina significant improvement of the acoustic properties of tonewood. Wood durability of refractory, native tree species such as Norway spruce and Fir is enhancedby the bioincising process which results in a significant increase in wood permeability. Bioincising is a promising technology to enable an efficient distributionof wood modification substances and to promote the efficiency of the desired property improvement.

Focus topics:

Superior tonewood has a low density and high Young‘s modulus of elasticity. The acoustic properties of Norway spruce and Sycamore wood can be improved with a controlled degradation process.
Wood of Norway spruce and white Fir is weakly durable, has a low liquid permeability and can be only poorly treated with selected wood modification substances.
Fungal Biotechnology
Wood decay fungi secrete enzymes which specifically attack the wood polymers. Lignin-degrading enzymes such as laccases can be used for green chemistry, or the production of wood compound materials.
Competences / methods
  • Determination of the cause for microbial decomposition of wood plastics, metals, organic and an organic materials
  • Research on the selective modification of wood with fungal species and fungal-derived enzymes
  • Elucidation of the durability of wood against microorganisms under different environmental conditions
  • Determination of the efficiency of wood preservatives and wood modification methods against microbial colonization and decomposition.