A Nanobionic Light-Emitting Plant
The engineering of living plants for visible light emission and sustainable illumination is compelling because plants possess independent energy generation and storage mechanisms and autonomous self-repair. Herein, we demonstrate a plant nanobionic approach that enables exceptional luminosity and lifetime utilizing four chemically interacting nanoparticles, including firefly luciferase conjugated silica (SNP-Luc), d-luciferin releasing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-LH2), coenzyme A functionalized chitosan (CS-CoA) and semiconductor nanocrystal phosphors for longer wavelength modulation. An in vitro kinetic model incorporating the release rates of the nanoparticles is developed to maximize the chemiluminescent lifetimes to exceed 21.5 h. In watercress (Nasturtium officinale) and other species, the nanoparticles circumvent limitations such as luciferin toxicity above 400 μM and colocalization of enzymatic reactions near high adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production.
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