(Natural News) While much has been written about nanomaterials and the benefits they will give humans, not as much thought has been given to how they can benefit plants. A recent study looks to change that, exploring how nanomaterials may be able to give plants "super" abilities.
The researchers, who presented their study at the American Chemical Society's Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition, compare it to how humans have been introducing foreign materials to plants for thousands of years.
"One example of this is flower dyeing," says lead researchers Dr. Joseph Richardson. "You'd immerse a cut flower stem into some dye, and the dye would be taken up through the stem and penetrate into the flower petals, and then you'd see these beautiful colors."
Using nanomaterials takes this into a more high-tech direction, with benefits that are more than just aesthetic.
Putting nanomaterials inside plants
Plants are readily able to absorb water and molecules dissolved in fluids thanks to their extensive vascular networks. That said, it's much harder for larger materials and nanoparticles, such as metal-organic frameworks (MOF), to penetrate a plant's roots.
With this in mind, Richardson and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne wondered if they could feed MOF precursors to the plants, which the latter would then convert into finished nanomaterials.