An Insight into Plant Nanobionics and Its Applications

  • Shubha Rani SharmaEmail author
  • Debasish Kar
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


Nanobionics can be defined as the study of structure and function of biological systems as model for the design and engineering of materials and machines at nanoscale level. It can be better defined as biomimicry or biomimesis. The word biomimetics literally means any man-made processes, object, strategy, or systems that can replicate the natural phenomenon very wisely and accurately. The science that deals with designing and fabricating biomimetics gadgets is called biomimetics. Nanobionics finds immense applications in the research field of artificial intelligence, nanobiotechnology, and nanorobotics in addition to medicine and military purposes. The plant nanobionics is an emerging field of bioengineering which alters the functioning of the plant tissue or organelle by introducing nanoparticles into the cells and chloroplasts of living plants. The key idea in plant nanobionics is the endowment of supernatural powers to plant which once upon a time seemed to be some kind of fairy tale like using plant as a light source, etc. Plants are now being exploited for nanobionic purposes due to their exceptional capability to produce energy from sunlight and photosynthesis. Now the scientists of nanobiotechnology area are coming up with war footing to construct nanobionic plants with more efficient photosynthesizing capability and powerful sensors to sense nanolevel biochemicals in an area.


Nanobionics Biomimesis Biosensors Photosynthetic efficiency Glowing plants Carbon nanotubes 


  1. Aghdam MTB, Mohammadi H, Ghorbanpour M (2016) Effects of nanoparticulate anatase titanium dioxide on physiological and biochemical performance of Linum usitatissimum (Linaceae) under well-watered and drought stress conditions. Braz J Bot 39:139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alamusi LY, Hu N, Wu L, Yuan W, Peng X, Gu B, Chang C, Liu Y, Ning H, Li J, Surina, Atobe S, Fukunaga H (2013) Temperature-dependent piezo resistivity in an MWCNT/epoxy nanocomposite temperature sensor with ultrahigh performance. Nanotechnology 24(45):455501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bar-Cohen Y (2005) Biomimetics: biologically inspire technologies. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boghossian AA, Ham MH, Choi JH, Strano MS (2011) Biomimetic strategies for solar energy conversion: a technical perspective. Energy Environ Sci 4:3834–3843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boghossian AA, Sen F, Gibbons BM, Sen S, Faltermeier SM, Giraldo JP, Zhang CT, Zhang J, Heller DA, Strano MS (2013) Application of nanoparticle antioxidants to enable hyperstable chloroplasts for solar energy harvesting. Adv Energy Mater 3:881–893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Das S, Debnath N, Pradhan S, Goswami A (2017) Enhancement of photon absorption in the light-harvesting complex of isolated chloroplast in the presence of plasmonic gold nanosol − a nanobionic approach towards photosynthesis and plant primary growth augmentation. Gold BullSpringer Nature 7, 50(3):247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Di Giacomo R, Maresca B, Porta A, Sabatino P, Carapella G, Neitzert H (2013) Candida albicans /MWCNTs: a stable conductive nanocomposite and its temperature sensing properties. IEEE Trans Nano Technol 12(2):111–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Di Giacomo R, Daraio C, Maresca B (2015) Plant nanobionic materials with a giant temperature response mediated by pectin-Ca2+. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(15):4541–4545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Di Giacomo R, Bonanomi L, Costanza V, Maresca B, Daraio C (2017) Biomimetic temperature-sensing layer for artificial skins. Sci Robot 2(3):eaai9251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ebrahimi M, Hosseinkhani S, Heydari A, Akbari J (2015) Simple and rapid immobilization of firefly luciferase on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles; a try to improve kinetic properties and stability. Biom J 1(1):104–112Google Scholar
  11. Falik O, Mordoch Y, Ben-Natan D, Vanunu M, Goldstein O, Novoplansky A (2012) Plant responsiveness to root-root communication of stress cues. Ann Bot 110:271–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gautam R, Kumari S, Chaudhary S (2013) Smart dust: an emerging technology. Int J Adv Res Sci Eng 2(10):131–135Google Scholar
  13. Ghorbanpour M, Fahimirad S (2017) Plant nanobionics a novel approach to overcome the environmental challenges. In: Ghorbanpour M, Varma A (eds) Medicinal plants and environmental challenges. Springer, ChamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Giraldo JP, Landry MP, Faltermeier SM, McNicholas TP, Iverson NM, Boghossian AA, Reuel NF, Hilmer AJ, Sen F, Brew JA, Strano MS (2014) Plant nanobionics approach to augment photosynthesis and biochemical sensing. Nat Mater 13(4):400–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gorder PF (2003) Sizing up smart dust. IEEE J Comput Sci Eng 5(6):6–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hatami M, Ghorbanpour M, Salehiarjomand H (2014) Nano-anatase TiO2 modulates the germination behavior and seedling vigority of the five commercially important medicinal and aromatic plants. J Biol Environ Sci 8(22):53–59Google Scholar
  17. He H, Pham-Huy LA, Dramou P, Xiao D, Zuo P, Pham-Huy C (2013) Carbon nanotubes: applications in pharmacy and medicine. Biomed Res Int 2013:578290PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Hong FS, Yang P, Gao FQ, Liu C, Zheng L, Yang F, Zhou J (2005) Effect of nano-TiO2 on spectral characterization of photosystem II particles from spinach. Chem Res Chin Univ 21:196–200Google Scholar
  19. Jha S, Pudake RN (2016) Molecular mechanism of plant-nanoparticle interactions. In: Kole C, Kumar D, Khodakovskaya M (eds) Plant nanotechnology. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  20. Khan MR, Rizvi TF (2014) Nanotechnology: scope and application in plant disease management. Plant Pathol J 13:214–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kozhukharov V, Machkova M (2013) Nanomaterials and nanotechnology: European initiatives, status and strategy. J Chem Tech Metal l48:3Google Scholar
  22. Krichevsky A, Meyers B, Vainstein A, Maliga P, Citovsky V (2010) Autoluminescent plants. PLoS One 5(11):e15461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kwak SY, Giraldo JP, Wong MH, Koman VB, Lew TT, Ell J, Weidman MC, Sinclair RM, Landry MP, Tisdale WA, Strano MS (2017) A nanobionic light-emitting plant. Nano Lett 17:7951–7961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lopez MM, Llop P, Olmos A, Marco-Noales E, Cambra M, Bertolini E (2009) Are molecular tools solving the challenges posed by detection of plant pathogenic bacteria and viruses? Curr Issues Mol Biol 11:13–46Google Scholar
  25. Mansoori GA (2017) An introduction to nanoscience and nanotechnology. In: Ghorbanpour M et al (eds) Nanoscience and plant-soil systems. Springer International Publishing AG, ChamGoogle Scholar
  26. Mecke A, Dittrich C, Meier W (2006) Biomimetic membranes designed from amphiphilic block copolymers. Soft Matt 2:751–759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mukhopadhyay SS, Kaur N (2016) Nanotechnology in soil-plant system. In: Kole C et al (eds) Plant nanotechnology. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  28. Neville A (2007) Special issue on biomimetics in engineering. Proc Inst Mech Eng C 221(C10):1141–1230Google Scholar
  29. Palmqvist M, Seisenbaeva G, Svedlindh P, Kessler V (2017) Maghemite nanoparticles acts as nanozymes, improving growth and abiotic stress tolerance in Brassica napus. Nanoscale Res Lett 12(1):631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Prasad R, Kumar V, Prasad KS (2014) Nanotechnology in sustainable agriculture: present concerns and future aspects. Afr J Biotechnol 13(6):705–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Prasad R, Bhattacharyya A, Nguyen QD (2017) Nanotechnology in sustainable agriculture: recent developments, challenges, and perspectives. Front Microbiol 8:1014. Scholar
  32. Sangeetha J, Thangadurai D, Hospet R, Harish ER, Purushotham P, Mujeeb MA, Shrinivas J, David M, Mundaragi AC, Thimmappa AC, Arakera SB, Prasad R (2017a) Nanoagrotechnology for soil quality, crop performance and environmental management. In: Prasad R, Kumar M, Kumar V (eds) Nanotechnology. Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore, pp 73–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sangeetha J, Thangadurai D, Hospet R, Purushotham P, Karekalammanavar G, Mundaragi AC, David M, Shinge MR, Thimmappa SC, Prasad R, Harish ER (2017b) Agricultural nanotechnology: Concepts, benefits, and risks. In: Prasad R, Kumar M, Kumar V (eds) Nanotechnology. Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  34. Saxena R, Tomar RS, Kumar M (2016) Exploring nanobiotechnology to mitigate abiotic stress in crop plants. J Pharm Sci Res 8:974–980Google Scholar
  35. Shevchenko RV, James SL, James SEA (2010) Review of tissue-engineered skin bioconstructs available for skin reconstruction. J R Soc Interface 7(43):229–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Siddiqui MH, Al-Whaibi MH, Firoz M, Al-Khaishany MY (2015) Role of nanoparticles in plants. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 19–35Google Scholar
  37. Skrzypczak T, Krela R, Kwiatkowski W, Wadurkar S, Smoczyńska A, Wojtaszek P (2017) Plant science view on biohybrid development. Front Bioeng Biotechnol 5:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith H (2000) Phytochromes and light signal perception by plants: an emerging synthesis. Nature 407(6804):585–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tanaka A, Ishihara T, Utsunomiya F, Douseki T (2012) Wireless self-powered plant health-monitoring sensor system. IEEE sensors conference, pp. 1–4Google Scholar
  40. Tee BCK, Wang C, Allen R, Bao Z (2012) An electrically and mechanically self-healing composite with pressure and flexion-sensitive properties for electronic skin applications. Nat Nanotechnol 7:825–832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tavakoli J, Tang Y (2017) Hydrogel based sensors for biomedical applications: An updated review. Polymers 9:364–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vaseashta A (2008) Nanoscale materials, devices, and systems for chem-bio sensors, photonics, and energy generation and storage. In: Vaseashta A, Mihailescu IN (eds) Functionalized nanoscale materials, devices and systems, NATO science for peace and security series B: physics and biophysics. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 3–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Warneke B, Last M, Leibowitz B, Pister KSJ (2001) Smart dust-communicating with a cubic millimetre computer. IEEE J-Comput 34(1):44–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilhelm C, Selmar D (2011) Energy dissipation is an essential mechanism to sustain the viability of plants: The physiological limits of improved photosynthesis. J Plant Physiol 168:79–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wong MH, Giraldo JP, Kwak SY, Koman VB, Sinclair R, Lew TTS, Bisker G, Liu P, Strano MS (2017) Nitroaromatic detection and infrared communication from wild-type plants using plant nanobionics. Nat Mater 16:264–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wu H, Tito N, Giraldo JP (2017) Anionic cerium oxide nanoparticles protect plant photosynthesis from abiotic stress by scavenging reactive oxygen species. ACS Nano 11(11):11283–11297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yao KS, Li SJ, Tzeng KC, Cheng TC, Chang CY, Chiu CY, Liao CY, Hsu J, Lin ZP (2009) Fluorescence silica nanoprobe as a biomarker for rapid detection of plant pathogens. Adv Mater Res 79–82:513–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhu XG, Long SP, Ort DR (2010) Improving photosynthetic efficiency for greater yield. Annu Rev Plant Biol 61:235–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bio-EngineeringBirla Institute of Technology, MesraRanchiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyM. S. Ramaiah University of Applied SciencesBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations