Development of nanoscale and microscale delivery vehicles for plant immune aids using protein coacervation and spray drying

Modern pesticides have revolutionized agriculture. However, growing concerns with pest resistance, environmental run-off, and a lack of capacity to deal with abiotic stresses associated with drought or extreme heat (critical issues with regards to climate change) demand new solutions. Suncor has developed new plant immune aids that address these challenges by fortifying the immunity of plants, with demonstrated efficacy in crop models. However, current formulations suffer from low bioavailability and low leaf retention, resulting in the need for frequent and costly re-applications. In response, in this proposed Elevate PDF, food proteins and carbohydrates will be used to encapsulate plant immune aids on both the microscale and the nanoscale using scalable and inexpensive complexation techniques. The encapsulation, degradation profile, stability, and cellular uptake of the delivery systems will be assessed. Furthermore, the transport of the developed particles through the waxy leaf barrier will be optimized by modifying the surface hydrophobicity and charge of the complexes. TO BE CONT’D

Faculty Supervisor:

Todd Ryan Hoare


Ali Akbari


Suncor Energy Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological




McMaster University



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