Biohybrid micro/nanorobots that integrate biological entities with artificial nanomaterials have shown great potential in the field of biotechnology. However, commonly used approaches to physical hybridization can lead to blockages and damage to biological interfaces, hindering the optimal utilization of natural abilities.
A new study from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague demonstrated the removal of the pesticide chlorpyrifos using plant-based robots. To produce magnetic plant biobots, researchers grew plant calli on media containing ferromagnetic material. This material (iron oxide) was incorporated into the plant cells during their growth. In addition, these materials were not toxic to plant calli, providing structural stability and enhancing callus growth.
The plant-based robots had a growth rate of 460% and an excellent removal efficiency of 80% for chlorpyrifos. These results suggest that magnetic plant biobots can be used effectively not only for pesticide removal, but also heavy metal removal. Moreover, magnetic plant biobots are excellent candidates for remediating polluted water.
In this study, now published in NPG Asia MaterialsThe researchers showed that magnetically driven plant biobots, using tomato callus cultivation technique in the presence of iron oxide nanoparticles, are capable of active movement and directional guidance under a transversely rotating magnetic field.
The iron oxide nanoparticles were transported through the cell growth media and then incorporated into the plant tissue cells, giving the plant biobot a magnetic function. In addition, iron ions support the growth of callus cells, resulting in nanoparticle incorporation and enabling faster growth and structurally compact texture.
The magnetic plant biobots demonstrated rapid and efficient removal of chlorpyrifos, a dangerous nerve agent that causes severe acute toxicity, and recovery using an external magnetic field. The eco-friendly plant biobots described here have demonstrated their potential in biomedical and environmental applications.
“The big advantage of these magnetic plant biobots is their easy preparation. This procedure can be easily scaled up,” says Prof. dr. Martin Pumera, Ph.D.
A review article clarifies genotype-independent plant transformation
Su-Jin Song et al, Engineered Magnetic Plant Biobots for Nerve Gas Removal, NPG Asia Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41427-022-00425-0
Quote: Magnetic Plant Biobots Could Be Effectively Used to Remove Pesticides and Heavy Metals (2022, Oct. 18) Retrieved Oct. 18, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-magnetic-biobots-effective-pesticide-heavy .html
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