MIT researchers use a near-infrared microscope to read the output of carbon nanotube sensors embedded in an Arabidopsis thaliana plant (Photo: Bryce Vickmark)
Professor Michael Strano (left) and postdoc fellow Juan Pablo Giraldo in their lab (Photo: Bryce Vickmark)
Giraldo examines a nanobionic plant (Photo: Bryce Vickmark)
By infusing the leaves of an Arabidopsis thaliana plant with nanoparticles, MIT researchers have boosted the plant's energy production (Photo: Bryce Vickmark)
In 2010, Stanford University researchers reported harnessing energy directly from chloroplasts, the cellular "power plants" within plants where photosynthesis takes place. Now, by embedding different types of carbon nanotubes into these chloroplasts, a team at MIT has boosted plants' ability to capture light energy. As well as opening up the possibility of creating "bionic plants" with enhanced energy production, the same approach could be used to create plants with environmental monitoring capabilities.
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