Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are applying drug-delivery technology to agriculture to control parasitic roundworms more effectively and safely.
The tiny roundworms, or nematodes, cause $157 billion in crop failures worldwide each year, other researchers estimate, largely because they’re beyond the reach of pesticides. The chemicals disperse poorly into soil, while the parasites feed at plant roots well below the surface.
As a result, farmers apply large amounts of pesticides, which can increase the chemical concentrations in food or run off and damage other parts of the environment, all of which have costs.
But biomedical engineering researchers at Case Western Reserve may have found an effective solution.
“We use biological nanoparticles—a plant virus—to deliver a pesticide,” said Paul Chariou, a PhD student in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve and author of a study on the process published in the journal ACS Nano. “Use of the nanoparticle increases soil diffusion while decreasing the risk of leaching and runoff, reducing the amount of chemical in food crops and reducing the cost to treat crops.”
Chariou worked with Nicole Steinmetz, the George J. Picha Professor in Biomaterials appointed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine… Continue reading....
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Nicole F. Steinmetz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, , Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Steinmetz was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions to advancement of plant virus-based nanomaterials for diagnostics, drug-delivery and immunotherapy in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and others.....