Challenge: Effective Delivery of Bioactive Compounds to Plant Cells – Technology Org

Bioactive compounds (BACs) promise to improve agricultural plants’ productivity dramatically. But to fulfill this promise, BACs need to be delivered into the cytoplasm of a plant cell and sometimes even into certain organelles inside the cytoplasm.

Source: Spartacon3000 /WikimediaCommons/CC BY-SA 3.0

But to be delivered into plant cells, BACs need to penetrate across the leaf surface and then the cell wall and cell membrane, the cell wall representing an especially difficult barrier to overcome. This Challenge, sponsored by Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), is looking for systems allowing effective delivery of high-molecular-weight BACs through the cell wall and cell membrane of plant cells.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Bioactive compounds (BACs) may have a profound stimulatory effect on plant growth. Because BACs are generally biodegradable and environmentally friendly molecules, and their effect is evident at very low doses, they can become a partial alternative to synthetic fertilizers and help significantly in reducing the amount of the latter.

However, to realize their full potential, BACs must be efficiently transported into the plant cells through three main barriers: the leaf surface (especially the cuticle), the cell wall, and the cell membrane. Although all three barriers represent a formidable obstacle to the BAC efficient penetration, the cell membrane and, especially, the cell wall that must be considered first.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on December 15, 2022. 

Source: InnoCentive

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