Many plant systems accumulate silica in solid form, creating intracellular or extracellular silica bodies, the so-called phytoliths, which are essential for growth, mechanical strength, rigidity, predator defence and leaf stiffness. Silica is an inorganic amorphous oxide formed by polymerization processes within plants. There has been much research in order to gain new insights into the biochemical processes and to mimic biosilicification. The nanotechnology potential of using plant silica bodies has been realized by several researchers for developing biomimetic devices and in the making of new bionanofunctional materials. In parallel to the rapid rise of the idea of growing nanotechnology by using diatoms, we have examined and synthesized information on plant slilica bodies, plant silica uptake mechanisms, and its bio-nano technological applications and the possible ways of producing biogenic silica bodies with new functions.
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Bionanotechnology LaboratorySuresh Neethirajan
School of EngineeringUniversity of GuelphGuelph, OntarioCanada N1G 2W1
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