Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > 'Lab on a chip' to give growers real-time glimpse into water stress in plants

Ted Boscia/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
From left, Vinay Pagay, Abraham Stroock and Alan Lakso examine a silicon wafer that will be used to build microsensors to monitor water stress in grapevines.
Ted Boscia/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
From left, Vinay Pagay, Abraham Stroock and Alan Lakso examine a silicon wafer that will be used to build microsensors to monitor water stress in grapevines.

Abstract:
Fifteen years ago, when Alan Lakso first sought to enlist Cornell's nanofabrication laboratory to develop a tiny sensor that would measure water stress in grapevines, the horticultural sciences professor ended up back at the drawing board.

'Lab on a chip' to give growers real-time glimpse into water stress in plants

Ithaca, NY | Posted on July 6th, 2009

It wasn't until Abraham Stroock, associate professor of chemical engineering, had a breakthrough of his own that Lakso's vision began to take shape. Stroock's lab recently developed a synthetic tree that mimics the flow of water inside plants using a slab of hydrogel with nanometer-scale pores. At last Lakso had access to the technology to move forward.

The device is an embedded microsensor capable of measuring real-time water stress in living plants. In theory, the sensor will help vintners strike the precise balance between drought and overwatering -- both of which diminish the quality of wine grapes.

"To manage for optimum stress," said Lakso, a researcher at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, "we need to monitor ... exactly what's going on in the vine."

With Vinay Pagay, a graduate student with degrees in computer engineering and viticulture, the team is working at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility in Ithaca to develop 4-inch diameter silicon wafer protoypes, each containing approximately 100 microsensors. They have also begun collaborating with Infotonics, a firm in Canandaigua, N.Y., that specializes in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), to plan commercialization of the sensors. The partnership applies cutting-edge engineering to practical agricultural concerns.

The team hopes to design a sensor that will transmit field readings wirelessly to a central server; the data will then be summarized online for the grower. The concept has already received attention from E. & J. Gallo Winery in California as well as researchers and industry leaders from Australia, Spain and Italy. "It's not just for the big growers," Lakso said. "We hope the micro-manufacturing will provide low-cost sensors for small growers as well."

Looking ahead, the team is pursuing alternative sensors that could enhance research in fields from food science to forestry. They have begun development of a "multi-use sensor" that redirects water flow inside the plant through a shunt. In this case, the sensor could measure the flow of water and mineral nutrients through the plant, in addition to water stress. Pagay described it as "a lab on a chip."

Beyond winemaking, the technology has implications for manufacturing, food processing and electronics. Team member Taryn Bauerle, assistant professor of horticulture, described how such sensors could be implanted throughout trees in a forest ecosystem to measure water use and nutrient flow on a large scale with unprecedented accuracy. "All of these [researchers'] brains are coming together," she said. "There's no limit to where we can take this type of technology."

Chris Bentley '10 is a student intern with CALS Communications.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing March 30th, 2015

Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures March 29th, 2015

Chip Technology

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

State-of-the-art online system unveiled to pinpoint metrology software accuracy March 27th, 2015

SUNY POLY CNSE to Host First Ever Northeast Semi Supply Conference (NESCO) Conference Will Connect New and Emerging Innovators in the Northeastern US and Canada with Industry Leaders and Strategic Investors to Discuss Future Growth Opportunities in NYS March 25th, 2015

NXP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce Production of 40nm Embedded Non-Volatile Memory Technology: Co-developed technology to leverage GLOBALFOUNDRIES 40nm process technology platform March 24th, 2015

Sensors

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet March 24th, 2015

Iranian Researchers Present Model to Determine Dynamic Behavior of Nanostructures March 24th, 2015

Nanodevice Invented in Iran to Detect Hydrogen Sulfide in Oil, Gas Industry March 20th, 2015

LamdaGen Corporation Launches Taiwan Diagnostic Subsidiary March 19th, 2015

Discoveries

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing March 30th, 2015

Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures March 29th, 2015

Announcements

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Catalyst redefines rate limitations in ammonia production March 30th, 2015

Next important step toward quantum computer: Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in linking 2 different quantum systems March 30th, 2015

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing March 30th, 2015

Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures March 29th, 2015

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Click! That's how modern chemistry bonds nanoparticles to a substrate March 19th, 2015

EU Funded PCATDES Project has completed its half-period with success March 19th, 2015

Turmeric Extract Applied in Production of Antibacterial Nanodrugs March 12th, 2015

Simple, Cost-Efficient Method Used to Determine Toxicants Growing in Pistachio February 26th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE