Nano Fibres

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Nano Fibres
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What we have here is a piece of black card, but the substance we’re interested in is the ultra-fine coating of nano-fibres which has been sprayed onto the surface. You can’t see individual fibres as they are just a hundred nanometers in size, which is 1/10000 of a millimetre, or 0.0000001m: in other words, they are mind-bogglingly small. They may be small and thus invisible to our eyes, but substances at this scale also have huge potential. The fibres on this card are used to coat young crops as a kind of protective jacket, shielding them from frost and airbourne diseases. This was developed as an alternative to using insulating mat, which can damage or stunt the growth of delicate shoots. This nano-fibre spray is light and air-permeable, protective, but fragile enough to let plants expand and grow through the coating. Some sprays can trap and deactivate toxins from the air. What these particles are actually made of is a trade secret, but any nano-coating can be sprayed. Fluorescent nano-polymers can be travel through cell membranes, showing us how fast and how far a substance might travel through the body of a plant. There are also sprayable nano-particles that are actually carbon micro-needles coated in DNA, which can penetrate directly into the nucleus of cells and alter the biological make-up of an organism. This is just the beginning of research being conducted, in all sorts of areas and applications, from military to artistic, as well as for science, agriculture and consumer industries. Nano-fibres are leading to revolutionary new ways to use materials and make things. There are concerns about the long-term safety of nanopartcles and all these substances are subject to the same regulatory requirements as other agricultural sprays and incesticides.

Sample ID: 427


Donated by
Philipps-Universitat, Marburg
Insulating | Fibres | Particles | Nano | Protective | Micro | Spray

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