Sensors for IOT and Sustainable Development
Contact person: Coppedè Nicola
Smart Agriculture and Bioristors

Agricultural sustainability and climate change

The agricultural sector is one of the most affected sectors as a  consequences of climate change. To date, the need to feed a growing world population and the need to preserve the natural resources of the planet, hampers the necessity  to find new strategies to produce more and better by preserving the resources of the planet.

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Only recently, agriculture is embracing innovation and technology to achieve this goal. One of the main objectives of agriculture 4.0 to save and and increase the efficiency of water use. This is a priority if we consider that today agricultural production consumes 70% of the water resources available on the planet.


What is bioristor and how it works

Plant sap is transported in the plant vessels (both xylem and phloem), whose content is highly variable depending on the environmental that strogly influenced its physiological state. 
In our research group we developed an organic electrochemical transistor (OECT: Organic Electro Chemical Transistor) capable to be inserted into the plant stem and it able to monitor continuously and in real time changes in the ionic composition of the sap. Being  a transistor applied to plant biology and physiology is called BIORISTOR.

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Bioristor is composed by the main channel of the transistor and a second electrode that, subjected to an appropriate electrical potential, generates the electric field that pushes the ions present in the sap in the polymer deposited on the main wire, changing its conductivity.

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Find more information about bioristor in:


Bioristor as tool for in vivo phenotyping

The bioristor has been applied to study abiotic stress in a controlled environment on numerous species including: tomato, kiwi, soybean, AND giant reed, pear. 
In tomato it is able to detect water stress within the first 30 hours of its onset.

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Curious? Check this paper out:


Bioristor as tool for precision agriculture to increase sustainability

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Kiwi fruit

Bioristor as tool for precision agriculture to increase sustainability In field conditions, the bioristor is connected to a wifi control unit that enable the transmission of the signal to an App and is able to detect the onset of water stress  responses and allowed for the early warning of the ongoing stress. Potentially throught the app the farmer or to the operating machines can be alerted is time to irrigate and how much is needed allowing to significantly reduce the use of water for irrigation and strongly increase the sustainability of agricultural production.

bioristor app