As opposed to the core shell approach of conventional particles (2A), this invention implements a proprietary matrix or mold type structure (2B). Photo Credit: Hudson River Biotechnology

Hudson River Biotechnology (HRB), together with Sphera Encapsulation (SE), has applied for a patent for a smart delivery particle.

New and better molecules for plant treatment are currently being brought on the market. But efficient delivery remains a challenge, especially for field applications. Current delivery systems cannot provide targeted delivery inside plant cells, are often not biodegradable and provide limited customization. Crop care products are therefore associated with substantial run-off into the environment. Only one third of fertilizers and <0.1% of pesticides reach their target. This leads to enormous amounts of chemical and product waste, as well as high costs.

To combat this issue, HRB and SE collaborated on Plentrance: a targeted, biodegradable particle for crop inputs, which can uniquely penetrate the plant cell wall and deliver cargo inside plant cells. PlentranceTM increases the bioavailability of crop inputs, so the active ingredients are delivered in the right place at the right time. The new patent application describes a method for encapsulating biological compounds, compositions of the resulting particles and their applications.

Ferdinand Los (CSO): “Originally tailored for CRISPR delivery as part of TiGER genome editing workflow, we soon realized that these particles hold unique potential for crop care applications as well because of the unique combination of delivery and encapsulation features, a cheap feedstock, and a scalable manufacturing process.”

With this technology, HRB expands its portfolio of smart delivery systems to include tailor-made nanoparticles that can increase the efficacy of agrochemicals. Delivery via HRB’s PlentranceTM particles is compatible with ecological agriculture, leads to less waste and ultimately decreases the strain on our natural ecosystems. HRB is further developing and scaling up the system to seamlessly integrate it into the existing crop care workflows of manufacturers and farmers.