Nanosensor Applications in Plant Science

Daniel S. Shaw, Kevin C. Honeychurch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Plant science is a major research topic addressing some of the most important global challenges we face today, including energy and food security. Plant science has a role in the production of staple foods and materials, as well as roles in genetics research, environmental management, and the synthesis of high-value compounds such as pharmaceuticals or raw materials for energy production. Nanosensors—selective transducers with a characteristic dimension that is nanometre in scale—have emerged as important tools for monitoring biological processes such as plant signalling pathways and metabolism in ways that are non-destructive, minimally invasive, and capable of real-time analysis. A variety of nanosensors have been used to study different biological processes; for example, optical nanosensors based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) have been used to study protein interactions, cell contents, and biophysical parameters, and electrochemical nanosensors have been used to detect redox reactions in plants. Nanosensor applications in plants include nutrient determination, disease assessment, and the detection of proteins, hormones, and other biological substances. The combination of nanosensor technology and plant sciences has the potential to be a powerful alliance and could support the successful delivery of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, a lack of knowledge regarding the health effects of nanomaterials and the high costs of some of the raw materials required has lessened their commercial impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number675
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2022


  • agriculture
  • botany
  • nanobiotechnology
  • nanosensors
  • plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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