Zhejiang University: Advances in smart delivery of pesticide

The rapid development of nanotechnology has opened up new avenues for modern agricultural science and is currently giving birth to major breakthroughs in many cross-disciplinary fields in traditional agriculture. For the first time the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) placed nano-enabled pesticides among the Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry in 2019, and nanopesticides have become a cutting-edge area in the development of pesticide formulations.

Recently, the research team led by Prof. ZHAO Jinhao at the Zhejiang University Institute of Pesticide and Environmental Toxicology published an open-access article entitled “A Light-Triggered pH-Responsive Metal-Organic Framework for Smart Delivery of Fungicide to Control Sclerotinia Diseases of Oilseed Rape” in the journal ACS Nano.

In this study, researchers developed a prochloraz (Pro) and pH-jump reagent-loaded zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (PD@ZIF-8) composite for smart control of Sclerotinia disease. The pH-jump reagent can induce the acidic degradation of ZIF-8 using UV light to realize the controlled release of Pro. The obtained PD@ZIF-8 nanoparticles are marked by their better formulation stability, foliage adhesion, uptake, and translocation.

“This study is of tremendous value to designing smart pesticide formulations and developing sustainable agriculture,” said ZHAO Jinhao.