Spinach is no longer just a superfood: By embedding leaves with carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone.
This is one of the first demonstrations of engineering electronic systems into plants, an approach that the researchers call “plant nanobionics.”
“The goal of plant nanobionics is to introduce nanoparticles into the plant to give it non-native functions,” says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the leader of the research team.
In this case, the plants were designed to detect chemical compounds known as nitroaromatics, which are often used in landmines and other explosives. When one of these chemicals is present in the groundwater sampled naturally by the plant, carbon nanotubes embedded in the plant leaves emit a fluorescent signal that can be read with an infrared camera. The camera can be attached to a small computer similar to a smartphone, which then sends an email to the user.
Click here to Read the full article: Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives
Share this entry
- Dr. Deepika Jain is Named to the American Health Council’s Physician Board August 18, 2017
- The American Health Council Elects Dr. Luis E. Raez to Board of Physicians August 17, 2017
- AHC Highlights Dr. Leslie Kerzner’s Medical Research August 16, 2017
- Dr. Judith K. Glann, DNP/MSN/ACNP-BC/CCRN, is appointed to the American Health Council’s Nursing Board August 16, 2017
- American Health Council Names William Dillon, M.D. to Education Board August 16, 2017
- AHC Discusses Informed-Consent Legislation August 15, 2017