Synthetic nanoparticles used in fighting cancer were successfully used in
healing malnourished plants. The results were published in Scientific
The nanoparticles called liposomes are spherical pouches used to deliver
drugs to a particular part of the human body. These tiny delivery packages
were filled by the scientists from Israel Institute of Technology with
fertilizing nutrients then applied in plants. This technique showed to be
more effective than spraying the nutrients onto the sickly plants.
The researchers initially exposed sickly tomato plants to either liposomes
packed with a rare earth metal call europium, or free-floating europium
molecules. Since europium is not naturally occurring in plants or soil, it's
easy to trace how much of this elements plants soaked up after treatment.
After three days of exposure, plants treated with liposomes had absorbed up
to 33 percent of the nanopaticles, while those exposed to free-floating
europium only absorbed less than 0.1 percent of the molecules. Then they
treated the iron- and magnesium-deficient tomato plants with iron and/or
magnesium spray, while the other plants with a solution containing liposomes
packed with iron and magnesium. Two weeks after, the plants sprayed with
free-floating nutrients were still yellowish and curled, while those that
were sprayed with liposomes showed healthy and green leaves.