Functionalization of a nanostructured hydroxyapatite with Cu(II) compounds as a pesticide: in situ transmission electron microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy observations of treated Vitis vinifera L. leaves
Abstract BACKGROUND The present study evaluated a biocompatible material for plant protection with the aim of reducing the amount of active substance applied. We used a synthetic hydroxyapatite (HA) that has been studied extensively as a consequence of its bioactivity and biocompatibility. An aggregation between HA nanoparticles and four Cu(II) compounds applied to Vitis vinifera L. leaves as a pesticide was studied. Formulations were characterized by X‐ray diffraction (XRD), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electron microscopy and applied in planta to verify particle aggregation and efficiency in controlling the pathogen Plasmopara viticola . RESULTS The XRD patterns showed different crystalline phases dependig on the Cu(II) compound formulated with HA particles, DLS showed that nanostructured particles are stable as aggregates out of the nanometer range and, in all formulations, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) microscopy showed large aggregates which were partially nanostructured and were recognized as stable in their micrometric dimensions. Such particles did not show phytotoxic effects after their application in planta . CONCLUSION A formulation based on HA and a soluble Cu(II) compound showed promising results in the control of the fungal pathogen, confirming the potential role of HA as an innovative delivery system of Cu(II) ions. The present work indicates the possibility of improving the biological activity of a bioactive substance by modifying its structure through an achievable formulation with a biocompatible material. ⓒ 2018 Society of Chemical Industry
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