|12-2036||RF - NanoScience Tech Center S RF - NanoScience Tech Center S|
|05-2025||Management of tree health and huanglongbing disease pressure using advanced Zn formulations Management of tree health and huanglongbing disease pressure using advanced Zn formulations|
|05-2025||Nano-enabled hybrid phosphorus platforms for increasing phosphorus use efficiency Nano-enabled hybrid phosphorus platforms for increasing phosphorus use efficiency|
|08-2023||Management of endemic and emerging bacterial diseases of Capsicum by plant resistance, novel compounds, and understanding pathogen diversity Management of endemic and emerging bacterial diseases of Capsicum by plant resistance, novel compounds, and understanding pathogen diversity|
|12-2022||Systemic formulations of antibacterial nanoparticles for Pierce’s disease management Systemic formulations of antibacterial nanoparticles for Pierce’s disease management|
|12-2022||Exploring mechanisms of chemical resistance in Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni and strategies to mitigate resistance and improve disease control Exploring mechanisms of chemical resistance in Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni and strategies to mitigate resistance and improve disease control|
|11-2022||RF: Advanced fertilizer formulation for optimal plant health management RF: Advanced fertilizer formulation for optimal plant health management|
|06-2022||Systemic formulations of antibacterial nanoparticles for Pierce’s disease management Systemic formulations of antibacterial nanoparticles for Pierce’s disease management|
|06-2022||A project, the purpose of which is to track donations, gifts, and contributions received by the UCF Foundation and being used to support research activities in Materials Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (Foundation Fund ID RSCH000073) A project, the purpose of which is to track donations, gifts, and contributions received by the UCF Foundation and being used to support research activities in Materials Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (Foundation Fund ID RSCH000073)|
|02-2022||Novel multi-metal systemic bac Novel multi-metal systemic bac|
|12-2021||Project to support conferences through Nanoscience Tech Center Sponsorships. 20088001 represents the project period of 2008-2018. Project 20088004 represents the project period of 2018 to current (due to change in management fee) Project to support conferences through Nanoscience Tech Center Sponsorships. 20088001 represents the project period of 2008-2018. Project 20088004 represents the project period of 2018 to current (due to change in management fee)|
|09-2020||Nano-Zinc coated urea: an innovative approach to systemic delivery of Zn-micronutrient – Part 2 Nano-Zinc coated urea: an innovative approach to systemic delivery of Zn-micronutrient – Part 2|
|07-2020||Limiting losses to bacterial spot through knowledge of global pathogen diversity, improved seed health, novel bactericides, and tomato breeding Limiting losses to bacterial spot through knowledge of global pathogen diversity, improved seed health, novel bactericides, and tomato breeding|
|02-2020||Nanotechnology for improving local systemic activity of Copper (Cu) pesticides and measuring sub-surface Cu bioavailability in plant tissue Nanotechnology for improving local systemic activity of Copper (Cu) pesticides and measuring sub-surface Cu bioavailability in plant tissue|
|02-2020||Zinkicide™ A Nanotherapeutic for HLB Zinkicide™ A Nanotherapeutic for HLB|
|01-2020||RF: TTO Gowan Company LLC- Com RF: TTO Gowan Company LLC- Com|
|01-2018||Development of a Novel Blood-Brain-Barrier Transportable nanotechnology for Selective Delivery of Radiological and Chemotherapeutic Agents in in-vitro and in-vivo Glioblastoma Cells Development of a Novel Blood-Brain-Barrier Transportable nanotechnology for Selective Delivery of Radiological and Chemotherapeutic Agents in in-vitro and in-vivo Glioblastoma Cells|
|12-2017||T-SOL™ antimicrobial for the management of citrus canker and HLB T-SOL™ antimicrobial for the management of citrus canker and HLB|
|03-2017||New non-phytotoxic composite polymer film barrier as ACP repellent for controlling HLB infection New non-phytotoxic composite polymer film barrier as ACP repellent for controlling HLB infection|
|07-2016||Engineering and study of a new multifunctional sensing nanoprobe for direct and rapid delivery of cargo to cytosol, reporting on the delivery event, and quantification of delivered cargo Engineering and study of a new multifunctional sensing nanoprobe for direct and rapid delivery of cargo to cytosol, reporting on the delivery event, and quantification of delivered cargo|
|03-2016||Fixed-Quat: A novel alternative to Cu fungicide/bactericide for preventing citrus canker Fixed-Quat: A novel alternative to Cu fungicide/bactericide for preventing citrus canker|
|11-2015||Zinkicide: A novel therapeutic zinc particulate based formulation for preventing citrus canker and HLB Zinkicide: A novel therapeutic zinc particulate based formulation for preventing citrus canker and HLB|
|09-2015||Soluble core-shell copper loaded silica nanoparticle formulation with improved Cu bioavailability Soluble core-shell copper loaded silica nanoparticle formulation with improved Cu bioavailability|
|02-2015||RF - TT Commercialization Gowan Co. Exclusive Evaluation Agreement 2014 RF - TT Commercialization Gowan Co. Exclusive Evaluation Agreement 2014|
|06-2014||Pump and Treat Aerobic Flushing Bioreactor Landfill Pump and Treat Aerobic Flushing Bioreactor Landfill|
|09-2013||Copper loaded silica nanogel technology for long term prevention of citrus canker disease Copper loaded silica nanogel technology for long term prevention of citrus canker disease|
|08-2013||RF - Gowan-UCF Field Trial: Copper Loaded Silica Formulation RF - Gowan-UCF Field Trial: Copper Loaded Silica Formulation|
|06-2012||Fate of Nanoparticles in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Fate of Nanoparticles in Municipal Solid Waste Landfills|
|05-2012||Synthesis and Characterization of Titanium Dioxide Surface Speckled Megnetic Silica Nanoparticles and Labeling of Monoclonal Antibody using Flourescent CdS:Mn/ZnS Quantum Dots Synthesis and Characterization of Titanium Dioxide Surface Speckled Megnetic Silica Nanoparticles and Labeling of Monoclonal Antibody using Flourescent CdS:Mn/ZnS Quantum Dots|
|03-2012||Polymer coated QCMs for measurment for adsorption/desorption of volatiles Polymer coated QCMs for measurment for adsorption/desorption of volatiles|
|06-2011||Develop multimodal imaging tags to track AAV delivery in vivo Develop multimodal imaging tags to track AAV delivery in vivo|
|04-2011||A Miniature RFID Sensor for Biological Warfare Agents (BWAS) Detection - NanoScience Portion (This project linked to: 64018147, 64018149, and 64018150) A Miniature RFID Sensor for Biological Warfare Agents (BWAS) Detection - NanoScience Portion (This project linked to: 64018147, 64018149, and 64018150)|
The vision of the center is to:
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a silver-based nanocomposite material that provides the antimicrobial benefits of silver without discoloring or staining surfaces. The clear, colorless non-toxic material enables manufacturers to produce coatings and disinfectants that can protect wood, plastic, metal, ceramic and fabric against bacteria, fungi and other harmful microbes.
The nanocomposite is made by co-loading silver nanoparticles with ionic silver and then using chelation to encapsulate the particles within a dielectric material, such as silica. Trapping and immobilizing the silver particles shifts the plasmon resonance of the silver out of the visible region (from 390 nm to 500 nm), thereby rendering the dielectric-silver nanocomposite transparent, free from discoloration, and usable on many surfaces. Additionally, the invention enables the extended release of silver, ensuring its prolonged efficacy as an antimicrobial agent.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed Zinkicide®, a potent bactericide/fungicide that can effectively treat and prevent diseases in citrus plants and trees such as Huanglongbing (HLB), also called citrus greening. HLB is an invasive citrus disease that is devastating major citrus-producing regions. The disease causes significant crop loss by increasing premature fruit drop and making the fruit smaller and unpalatable.
Zinkicide® offers an economically feasible and environmentally sustainable solution that can improve plant production, fruit quality, and grower profitability. The non-copper alternative for crop protection can be applied with existing pesticide application equipment. It uses specifically-designed nanoparticles to allow for systemic activity from spray or drench applications while avoiding phytotoxicity. The particulates are small enough to be transported through a plant’s phloem system to reach HLB pathogen-infected areas.
The UCF invention comprises compositions and methods of making and applying Zinkicide® which includes a vacancy-engineered (VE) ZnO nanocomposite. Zinkicide® is a non-phytotoxic zinc oxide (ZnO)-based nanoformulation. With its high antimicrobial potency, the formula can produce biocidal molecular species in a sustained manner. All Zinkicide ingredients are EPA- and FDA-approved for agricultural applications.
The UCF team is seeking collaborative research and development opportunities with industrial partners.
Zinkicide Is a ZnO-Based Nanoformulation with Bactericidal Activity against Liberibacter crescens in Batch Cultures and in Microfluidic Chambers Simulating Plant Vascular Systems, ASM Journals, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 03 August 2020; Vol. 86, No. 16, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00788-20.
University of Central Florida researchers have created a novel method to protect citrus crops from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), an insect known to carry the bacteria that causes Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease. HLB is threatening citrus industries across the globe, as a tree will eventually die once infected with this disease. The consequences of ACP are many: it spreads throughout commercial groves, growers are then forced to abandon their fields, leaving nearby remaining fields vulnerable, and statewide quarantines have been enacted. This pest has caused a totaled estimated cost of $1.3 billion in losses for Florida citrus growers.
Insecticides have limited success in warding off ACP, and there is serious concern that ACP will grow resistant to them. The foliar method is solely used for bearing trees and is somewhat helpful, but it can sometimes, unfortunately, ward off natural ACP antagonists like ladybeetles and parasitic wasps. Although the USDA has recently launched a $30 million effort to research ways to stop this pestilence and resulting disease, there is currently no available cure for HLB.
This novel repellent is composed of an environmentally friendly, non-phytotoxic, organo-silica-based composite film (OSCF) material, which is both hard, because of the silica sol-gel/colloidal silica particles and ionic cross-linker (e.g., Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions), and sticky, due to PAM. These two attributes enable it to strongly adhere to plants with superior rainfastness, and provide an effective barrier to ACP, altering the feeding behavior of the insect, and thus substantially reducing or eliminating HLB transmission to the plant. The OSCF material also emits a pungent odor which aids in repelling ACP from citrus plants. This repellent can be used as a nanogel or a nanoparticle composition.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have invented a novel method and composition in creating a water-soluble chitosan polymer and a chitosan-based composite particle. Through this process, the chitosan composition becomes fluorescent, completely water-soluble, and remains stable at a neutral pH. This method and composition provides a potential feed additive for factory farm animals, resulting in a reduced need for prophylactic antimicrobials and a reduced bacterial load, thus effectively guarding against bacteria such as E.coli and Enterococci. The fluorescence developed through this synthesis may prove to be useful in bioimaging applications. The composition can also serve as a catalyst for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide.
Over the past few decades, research has shown that chitosan is a good candidate for oral and nasal drug delivery systems because it is non-toxic, as well as environmentally and medically safe. One opportunity that remains to be realized is using chitosan to effectively deliver anticancer drugs to tumors through intravenous injection. Two major challenges are that chitosan is not soluble at blood pH conditions (i.e. around 7.4), and that it has limited water dispersibility.
To overcome these challenges, two methods could potentially be employed. The first method involves particle surface modification to introduce hydrophilic moieties such as carboxyl, hydroxyl, or ethylene oxide. A second less cumbersome approach is chemically or hydrothermally treating chitosan in order to cleave longer polymer chains into shorter sizes, thereby introducing more hydrophilic groups.
The UCF chemo-hydrothermal method is a one-step, one-pot synthesis. When the chitosan and a chemical cross-linker, such as tartaric acid, are cooked together under high pressure, its chemical properties remain unaltered. The chitosan-and-tartaric-acid composites form soluble nanoparticles that are also capable of solubilizing other insoluble materials, such as metal particles and metal oxide particles. When copper is added to this mixture, uniform-sized nanocomposites are formed and the pH level is raised to 7, making the composition neutral.
UCF researchers have created a surfactant-free, water-based, chemical precipitation method to create high-quality, dopant-based, water-dispersible Sol-Glow™ particles. This method overcomes current limitations of synthesis and purification processes that are extremely cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive, and generate undesirable waste materials. This one-pot, chemical synthesis method is simple, rapid and suitable for producing Sol-Glow particles in bulk quantity on a metric ton scale. By eliminating the need for HCl to achieve fluorescence, Sol-Glow is also environmentally friendly.
For agriculture industry applications, Sol-Glow can serve as a plant nutrient fertilizer as well as an antimicrobial agent to protect crops from bacterial and other microbial infections. This method can be used in various inorganic light-sensitive semiconductor materials and subsequently coated with various fluorescent dye materials, using chemical reaction methodology. Being surfactant-free, Sol-Glow particles provide greater light-emitting intensity, eliminating quenching and absorption caused by surfactant residue. Additionally, Sol-Glow particles have increased sensitivity to light.
This novel method involves mixing in an aqueous solution a water-soluble, first core metal precursor material (e.g. cadmium acetate, zinc acetate, manganese acetate, or similar material) with a water-soluble, first dopant precursor material (e.g. sodium sulfide) to form a doped metal core material. This mixture creates a surfactant-free, core-shell, light-emitting particle. Additionally, adjusting the pH of the final composition from 3 to 6 can provide higher efficiency in Sol-Glow particle production. The water dispersibility of Sol-Glow was accomplished through surface modifications with hydrophilic coating agents, including sodium gluconate, sodium salicylate, quaternary ammonium, hydrogen peroxide, and tetraethyl orthosilicate (silica), for multifunctional applications.
University of Central Florida researchers have invented T-SOL™, a chelate-based therapeutic nutrient that promotes plant growth and minimizes the threat of microbial infection. Unlike other biocides, which only destroy microorganisms, T-SOL™ simultaneously enhances plant growth, increases crop yields, and protects plants from bacterial and fungal diseases (including citrus canker, citrus greening, scab, and bacterial leaf spot). Usable in liquid or powder form, the new green technology is eco-friendly and safely eliminates as much as 99 percent of harmful microorganisms from a plant’s surface, including Escherichia coli, Xanthomonas, and Staphylococcus aureus. T-SOL™ also minimizes phytotoxicity.
The invention encompasses the T-SOL™ formulation and methods of preparation. T-SOL™ is a chelate-based ternary complex consisting of an antimicrobial agent, a plant-compatible growth promoter, and a plant micronutrient. The formulation, which can be a powder or a sprayable liquid, uses EPA-approved ingredients and meets all industry requirements for commercial viability.
An example formulation can consist of hydrogen peroxide (the antimicrobial agent), urea (a hydrogen peroxide stabilizer and plant-compatible growth promoter), and divalent zinc ion (a plant micronutrient). The combination of the peroxide component with the stabilizer forms a metal-free, chelate-based complex that minimizes phytotoxicity, enhances plant growth, and has antimicrobial characteristics that defend plants against pathogens. Gluconate or salicylate can be alternatives to urea, and a sodium salt-based adjuvant can enhance the rainfastness of the formulation.
UCF researchers have developed a novel copper (Cu)-based nanoparticle technology to treat and protect plants against a broad range of disease-causing bacteria and fungi. Using industry-accepted ingredients, the new formula is based on nano-engineered particles that are designed to be more effective against copper-resistant bacterial strains such as Xanthomonas perforans. The invention contains significantly lower copper material concentrations than conventional copper bactericides. It is non-phytotoxic, water-soluble and film forming to kill and inhibit the growth of bacteria on crops.
The invention encompasses a unique nanotechnology particle design and method of delivering disease-fighting materials to infected plant tissues. The locally systemic particle (LSP) design consists of metal and non-metal layers formed around a silica core and shell. The first layer is a leachant-permeable base material and multi-valent metal (such as Cu). The second (outside) layer consists of an immobilized Quat material, such as quaternary ammonium. The nanoparticles are small enough to pass through leaf pores known as stomata, and then move locally inside plant tissues to attack bacteria. In addition, when the stomata of plants take up LSP materials, they serve as a Cu reservoir, extending retention in the plant tissue and enhancing the bioavailability of Cu material. This serves to reduce the need for repeated applications and limits the Cu exposure to humans as well as the plants and soil.
University of Central Florida researchers have developed an environmentally-friendly alternative to copper (Cu)-based biocides, which are commonly used to treat plant diseases caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses. The UCF team created a novel composition that uses magnesium hydroxide nanoparticles to effectively inhibit and kill diseases such as Xanthomonas alfalfae, Pseudomonas syringae and Escherichia coli. Besides treating and protecting a wide range of plants (including vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, nuts and seeds), the novel technology also serves to nourish and improve their overall health. Compared to commercial Cu-based products, test data indicates that the technology has low cytotoxicity and phytotoxicity, improved rainfastness and increased bioavailability.
The invention is a unique composition of magnesium hydroxide nanoparticles—Mg(OH)2 NPs—and methods for using the composition to kill plant pathogens effectively. The composition is low in both phytotoxicity and cytotoxicity and does not hamper germination and seedling growth. Designed to degrade into Mg ions, which are nutrients to plant systems, the invention also nourishes and protects plants.
The composition is customizable to each crop to attain optimal efficacy (rainfastness, plant tissue permeability and bioavailability) by controlling the size of the nanoparticles (from a few nanometers to hundreds of nanometers) and by tuning their surface charge (hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity). This is done by coating the particles with water-soluble capping agents made from food-grade chemicals (ligands) such as trisodium citrate, betaine or both, and by adjusting the relative percentage of oppositely charged ligands, such as the ratio of betaine to citrate.
Antimicrobial Magnesium Hydroxide Nanoparticles as an Alternative to Cu Biocide for Crop Protection, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2018 66 (33), 8679-8686 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01727.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida, the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, and the ICAR-Central Citrus Research Institute have developed a novel cargo delivery system for controlling and preventing diseases in plants, notably Huanglongbing (HLB), a fatal citrus disease with limited commercial control strategies. The non-phytotoxic technology uses coated particles smaller than 10 nanometers (nm) to systemically deliver combinations of cargoes (such as insecticides, bactericides and fungicides) through a plant's vasculature. The new technology has proven to be effective against Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas)--the bacterium that causes HLB. Due to the increased solubility of the zinc-containing nanoparticles, the invention provides effective transport of cargoes to cross into and move freely throughout a plant's phloem tissue to fight CLas where it propagates.
The invention comprises a composition and method for making a systemic cargo delivery system of ultra-small nanoparticles (10 nm in size; specifically, 2 nm - 6 nm). Each nanoparticle has a core and a shell (coating). The core contains at least one metal micronutrient (such as ZnO) and at least one cargo, while the shell is made of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). Since the particles are created using a one-pot synthesis process, NAC-ZnO production is easily scalable. Growers can implement the system using traditional application methods (foliar, soil-drench). A wide range of cargoes can be delivered using NAC-ZnO as long as NAC interacts with the cargoes of interest. Cargo examples include:
Experimental results have shown a decrease in a plant's CLas population by as much as 97 percent of the initial bacterial load (per 12.5 ng of genomic DNA). Also, regardless of the application used, the delivery system and cargoes appeared in every tissue of the plant.
The University of Central Florida invention is a novel non-phytotoxic zinc sulfide (ZnS) nanoparticle-based adjuvant that demonstrates improved rainfastness and sustained release of streptomycin. Recently, streptomycin sulfate (65.8 percent active ingredient) has been labeled for suppression of Huanglongbing in Florida. The active ingredient is water-soluble and therefore suffers from poor rainfastness after foliar application. Due to high polarity, the uptake and mobility of streptomycin sulfate through the phloem vascular system is limited. Furthermore, streptomycin is prone to UV degradation when exposed to direct sunlight. The UCF adjuvant offers a solution to improve rainfastness, UV stability and vascular mobility.
The University of Central Florida invention is a nanoformulation for treating and preventing plant diseases, such as citrus canker, and adding nutrients to soil used for agricultural purposes. Additionally, the invention can protect against mold and mildew in homes and a variety of products (such as fabrics, leather, plastics and paint).
Plant diseases worldwide result in billions of dollars of annual crop losses. Consequently, resistance to antibacterial and antifungal agents is a key agricultural concern. To address pathogen resistance, UCF researchers have developed a more robust antibacterial/antifungal (Anti-B/F) formulation. Compared to other designs, the UCF nanotechnology offers an inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture, copper-loaded, silica-based nanoformulation (CuSiNP/NG). By releasing copper in non-toxic quantities over an extended period, the design keeps the environment safe and eliminates the need for multiple applications. Thus, the invention provides treatment and long-term protection against pathogens while minimizing phytotoxic side effects.
The UCF invention comprises the following:
Effective for at least six months, the CuSiNP/NG nanoformulation not only combats plant diseases but also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. The technology slowly releases ionic Cu in a sustained manner and in quantities that meet EPA water quality standards for copper. Additionally, the nanoformulation provides residual fertilizing properties for soil. When leaves and branches of plants treated with the nanoformulation drop to the ground, they continue to release Cu nutrients. Example applications include agriculture (vegetables, flowers, grass and other plants), and household applications (fabrics, leather, plastics, paint).
Copper (Cu)–Silica Nanocomposite Containing Valence-Engineered Cu: A New Strategy for Improving the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Cu Biocides, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2014 62 (26), 6043-6052, DOI: 10.1021/jf502350w
The University of Central Florida invention is a cost-effective gel medium composition for capturing and protecting a variety of active ingredients (such as agrochemicals or pharmaceuticals) in a commercially viable and stable product formulation at ambient conditions. Loss of chemical activity in ingredients before use is a persistent problem for industry. This invention aims to improve the chemical and biological stability of active ingredients, addressing disease management for a variety of applications.
The research team is looking for partners to develop the technology further for commercialization.
Stage of Development
The University of Central Florida invention is a composition consisting of a metal borate biocide material (inorganic metal part) and a surface borate complex (organic part). The organic part of the composition allows the material to be modulated with biomolecules (such as sugars, proteins, enzymes, peptides) present in plant and animal cells. In plant systems, this unique material property can ameliorate the phytotoxicity issues of traditional heavy metal ions (such as copper and zinc) while retaining their biocidal properties. Due to boron chemistry, this composition has the unique capability of targeting hydrophilic areas of a plant leaf surface (such as stomata and areas between cuticles). This new groundbreaking discovery enables targeted delivery of agrochemicals through plant surfaces.
The research team is seeking partners for licensing and/or research collaboration.
Stage of Development