M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKarny Avishai
SubjectAdapting Liposomal Drug Delivery System as a Platform for
Crop Protection
DepartmentDepartment of Chemical Engineering
Supervisor ASSOCIATE PROF. Avi Schroeder


Nanomaterials are revolutionizing many fields, such as medicine, electronics and energy, while the emerging field of nanobiotechnology has been primarily focusing on pharmaceutical-oriented research where improved controlled delivery is of major importance. Recently, the potential applications of nanoscience in food engineering and agriculture have been suggested.

Our goal is to improve crop treatment by introducing nanoparticles (NPs) as systems for the delivery of agricultural active ingredients (AIs) to crops.

Here, we describe a plant-derived nanoparticle used to deliver nutrients and crop-protection-agents to fully grown plants; we show evidence that liposomal formulations penetrate and travel bi-directionally through plant tissue, eventually residing within cells where their internal cargo is released into the cytosol.

Additionally, quantification measurements indicate that liposomes administered via hydroponic-irrigation and foliar-feeding distribute differentially through plant leaves and petioles, suggesting that their transport is mediated by phloemic pathways, both upwards and downwards.

Finally, we found that drift and efficacy experiments support the feasibility of liposomal nano-structures to be established as a platform for administration of AIs to food crops.