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MARINA MASSARO

Current Status of Nanoclay Phytotoxicity

Abstract

The use of nanotechnology in several fields has created a great interest and its rapid development with application in material science, nanomedicine, medical diagnosis, computer chips, catalysis and so on. The use of nanomaterials represents various advantages, including size, highly active surfaces, unique physico-chemical properties, and in some cases a controlled release of chemicals. In this context phyto-nanotechnology is growing and has promising application in agricultural aspects, such as use of soil remediation, antioxidants, adsorbents, nano-sensor for detection of soil quality, delivery of fertilizers and many others. Plants are very important components of the terrestrial eco-system and essential for the planet life. Studies on the influence of nanomaterial on plant growth indicate that their influence seed germination in different way depending on the nanoparticle used. Among the different nanomaterials, nanoclays and in particular halloysite are, in the last years, attracted a great interest for their intrinsic properties. Usually, clays are natural, no-toxic and abundant in thousands of tons a low price. The use of nanoclay in nanotechnology not only diminishes the risks of ecotoxicity but also, open up enormous scope for employing nanotechology in agriculture.