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Forskningsartikel2024Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

eSoil: A low- power bioelectronic growth scaffold that enhances crop seedling growth

Oikonomou, Vasileios K.; Huerta, Miriam; Sandehn, Alexandra; Dreier, Till; Daguerre, Yohann; Lim, Hyungwoo; Berggren, Magnus; Pavlopoulou, Eleni; Nasholm, Torgny; Bech, Martin; Stavrinidou, Eleni


Active hydroponic substrates that stimulate on demand the plant growth have not been demonstrated so far. Here, we developed the eSoil, a low -power bioelectronic growth scaffold that can provide electrical stimulation to the plants' root system and growth environment in hydroponics settings. eSoil's active material is an organic mixed ionic electronic conductor while its main structural component is cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer. We demonstrate that barley seedlings that are widely used for fodder grow within the eSoil with the root system integrated within its porous matrix. Simply by polarizing the eSoil, seedling growth is accelerated resulting in increase of dry weight on average by 50% after 15 d of growth. The effect is evident both on root and shoot development and occurs during the growth period after the stimulation. The stimulated plants reduce and assimilate NO3- more efficiently than controls, a finding that may have implications on minimizing fertilizer use. However, more studies are required to provide a mechanistic understanding of the physical and biological processes involved. eSoil opens the pathway for the development of active hydroponic scaffolds that may increase crop yield in a sustainable manner.


bioelectronics; electrical stimulation; plant growth

Publicerad i

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2024, Volym: 121, nummer: 2, artikelnummer: e2304135120