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Development of wearable sensors based on nanomaterials to detect fungal diseases in plants

Grant number: 20/10048-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Daniel Souza Corrêa
Grantee:Tamires dos Santos Pereira
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/22214-6 - Toward a convergence of technologies: from sensing and biosensing to information visualization and machine learning for data analysis in clinical diagnosis, AP.TEM


Fungal diseases annually cause losses in agricultural production and great economic loss. In Brazil, cultures with commercial importance are also affected by pathologies caused by these microorganisms. The diagnosis at the initial stage of infection in plants can mean greater efficiency in controlling the disease, with a consequent increase in productivity and economic gains. In this sense, analytical techniques, such as the use of sensors that allow rapid, continuous, easy to handle, low-cost and in situ diagnosis are of great relevance. This project aims at developing "wearable sensors" for application in plants aiming at the detection of diseases. The sensors will be prepared using strategies such as electrospinning, using polymers such as polyamide and poly (lactic acid), modified with conductive materials suchas conjugated polymers, metallic nanoparticles and carbonaceous nanomaterials, deposited on electrodes that will be coupled to a wearable platform manufactured by a 3D printer, suitable for fixation on plants. The nanofibers and active nanomaterials employed will be characterized in relation to their morphology, structure, mechanical, optical and electrical properties. For this purpose, techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Infrared Spectroscopy (FITR), Thermal Analysis (DSCand TGA), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Tensile tests, UV-Vis, fluorescence and impedance spectroscopy will be employed. The analytes of interest to be detected include defense metabolites released by plants in the early stages of the disease. Quantification will be performed by measurements of color change and/or electrical resistance, before and after contact with the analytes. It is expected that this project can contribute with strategies to advance the early diagnosis of plant diseases. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MERCANTE, LUIZA A.; PAVINATTO, ADRIANA; PEREIRA, TAMIRES S.; MIGLIORINI, FERNANDA L.; DOS SANTOS, DANILO M.; CORREA, DANIEL S. Nanofibers interfaces for biosensing: Design and applications. SENSORS AND ACTUATORS REPORTS, v. 3, NOV 2021. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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