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Sensor for measuring sap in plants

AgricolturacropsESTECHin vivo biosensorplant monitoringWater saving


The technology is based on an in vivo, highly biocompatible biosensor, called “Bioristor”, which, inserted into the stem of the plant, allows us to monitor and read the plant sap in real time and continuously, in particular the variations in concentration of solutes in the sap and the change in the amount of fluids in the plant.

Technical features

The device is based on an organic electrochemical transistor architecture, whose structural elements are formed by biocompatible fibers functionalized with conductive polymers that are themselves biocompatible. These structural elements, which are able to create an interface highly suitable for contact with the cells of the plant, constitute the channel and the gate of the transistor, while the plant itself, through its sap, constitutes the active electrolyte that allows the operation. of the transistor. Thanks to this interaction between the biological part and the bioelectronic material, the crucial parameters of the sap can be measured for long periods of time (tested up to four months) in real time. In particular, the quantity of sap in contact with the transistor and the concentration of salts such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium are measured.

Possible Applications

  • Monitoring of plants in open field for irrigation and nutrient optimization;
  • Monitoring of water stress;
  • Monitoring of salt stress;
  • Applications in agronomic research and phenotyping.


  • The Bioristor is highly biocompatible, and allows you to make measurements inside the plant in vivo for long periods;
  • It does not alter the physiology of the plant while measurement;
  • It is a simple and low-cost technology;
  • It allows you to understand the optimal irrigation of the plant.