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Nanobiosensors in agriculture the next big thing ?

Are nanobiosensors the next big thing in agriculture ?. Take a ride with us as we explore what might be termed as the next path breaking technology in agriculture.

What are nanobiosensors

To know what nanobiosensors are lets look into what biosensors are – As per wikipedia – A biosensor is an analytical device, used for the detection of a chemical substance, that combines a biological component with a  physiochemical detector.

Nanobiosensors as per the name indicates is the use of nano-scale miniature structures as compared to conventional biosensors for obtaining process and analyzing the data at atomic level.

As per Srivastava et al., 2013 Nanobiosensors can be used for identifying a variety of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, moisture of soil, pH and various parameters can be assessed using nanobiosensors. The scale of this invention has not been deciphered and put to its full use.

Definition of nanobiosensors

Nanobiosensors are a modified version of a biosensor that may be designated as a compact analytical
device or a unit that integrates a biologically derived sensitized element linked to a physico chemical
transducer.

Characteristics of an Ideal Nanobiosensor

  1. The nanobiosensor should be exceptionally specific in nature
  2. Under normal storage conditions it should be stable and its reaction time should be at minimum.
  3. Any physical parameters like stirring, pH and temperature should not affect the fundamental reaction of analytes
  4. Results obtained must be rigorous, precise, reproducible and linear over the beneficial analytical range and should also be free from electrical noise.
  5. Size of nanobiosensor must be tiny, biocompatible, non-toxic and non-antigenic.
  6. Production of the nanobiosensor must be cheap. It must be portable and semi-skilled operators should be able to be use it.

Application of nanobiosensors in agriculture

  1. Nanobiosensors can be used to monitor different soil conditions like soil moisture, soil pH; variety of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides, pathogens as well as various crop growth parameters
  2. It can be used for conservation programmes and in tracking
  3. Nanobiosensors may be used in detecting food borne contaminants and monitor environmental conditions in the farm
  4. Smart delivery system for efficacious utilization of natural resources like water, nutrients and chemicals through precision farming technology aided by nanobiosensors
  5. Nanoparticles in delivering various growth hormones and potentially genetic material transfer
  6. Aptasensors have been specifically build for determination of various kinds of pesticides and insecticides and also heavy metals and drugs

Current drawbacks

1.Nanobiosensor technology is still in its infancy stage and certainly needs more nurturing in terms of research to be done

2.Quantification in nano scale is lacking and more efficient technology is required to squeeze the macroworld to the nano level


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