Nanotechnology has touched all realms of life including agriculture and the success is widely embraced by the scientific community. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is the first State Agricultural University in India to establish an exclusive Department of Nano Science & Technology in 2009 with a view to initiate research in the crosscutting areas.
The Nano center at TNAU is involved in teaching, research and dissemination of nano inventions to various stakeholders. Our department is working on various nano products of Agricultural importance such as Enhanced Freshness Nano Formulation& Nano stickers for extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, Nano fibres for the smart delivery of agro inputs, Designer seeds to enhance productivity, Bio nano polymer to replace synthetic plastics, Super absorbent hydrogel for moisture retention, Chitosan nano spheres and Nano silica for pest and disease management. Hexanal based two nano formulations would be commercialized by the Directorate of Agri business development soon. The seed priming technology using nanofibre matrixis ready for pilot testing. The mesoporous nano silica can be employed to impregnate any pesticide molecules to achieve higher bio efficacy and sustained release.
The interesting innovation from the Nanotechnology center is the chitosan based super absorbent biopolymer for moisture retention and controlled release of nutrients. This technology has huge potential in hydrophonics, poly house and indoor cultivation besides in seed priming. The Annonaacetogenins encapsulated using nano systems could be used in cancer therapy due to higher bioavailability and sustained release. The Nanotech center of TNAU has developed nano film from agro wastes such as banana pseudo stem and Agave to replace synthetic plastic. The Nano-Fibrillated Cellulose extracted from banana pseudo stem can be used as filler in biopolymer matrix to develop bio films. This technology can be customized by polymer industries based on their requirements.
Department of Nano Science and Technology is involved in collaborative research with various international institutes such as University of Guelph, Canada, National University of Singapore, Linkoping University, Sweden and has patented inventions to find solutions to various unresolved field problems.
The decade long journey of our department together with sponsors and stakeholders has lot of learning and inspiration that keep us growing and serving the mankind with joy.