Therapeutic nanoparticles penetrate leaves and deliver nutrients to agricultural crops.
Here, we loaded nanoscale drug-delivery systems with agricultural nutrients, and applied them to the leaves of tomato plants. We show that the nanoparticles – liposomes composed of plant-derived lipids, penetrate the leaf and translocate in a bidirectional manner, distributing to other leaves and to the roots.
“As the world population grows, there is a need for efficient agricultural technologies to provide global food requirements and reduce environmental toll. In medicine, nanoscale drug delivery systems grant improved therapeutic precision by overcoming biological barriers and enhancing drug targeting to diseased tissues."
A favorable route for administrating active ingredients to plants is directly to the foliage; however many agricultural ingredients cannot be administered in this manner due to poor leaf penetration and intra-plant mobility. Nanoparticles have proven to be effective carriers of a wide scope of compounds, capable of enhancing biological targeting, delivery and uptake. Here, we tested medical nanoparticles, specifically – 100 nm PEGylated liposomes, for their potential agricultural use, as carriers of agricultural ingredients to plants.