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El tallo verde es una estructura compostable y en las hojas de la flor se produce la evaporación. Crédito: Carles Tortosa
A plant-like battery: a biodegradable power source ecodesigned for precision agriculture
Marina Navarro-Segarra, Carles Tortosa, Carlos Ruiz-Díez, Denis Desmaële, Teresa Gea, Raquel Barrena, Neus Sabaté and Juan Pablo Esquivel

The natural environment has always been a source of inspiration for the research community. Nature has evolved over thousands of years to create the most complex living systems, with the ability to leverage inner and outside energetic interactions in the most efficient way. This work presents a flow battery profoundly inspired by nature, which mimics the fluid transport in plants to generate electric power. The battery was ecodesigned to meet a life cycle for precision agriculture (PA) applications; from raw material selection to disposability considerations, the battery is conceived to minimize its environmental impact while meeting PA power requirements.

Energy & Environmental Science, 2022, Issue 7, DOI:10.1039/D2EE00597B

Ejercito de chips de silicio en forma de estrella sobre una población de células HeLa | CSIC.
Intracellular Mechanical Drugs Induce Cell-Cycle Altering and Cell Death
Arjona, M. I., Duch, M., Hernández-Pinto, A., Vázquez, P., Agusil, J. P., Gómez-Martínez, R., Redondo-Horcajo, M., Amirthalingam, E., Pérez-García, L., Suárez, T., Plaza, J. A.

Current advances in materials science have demonstrated that extracellular mechanical cues can define cell function and cell fate. However, a fundamental understanding of the manner in which intracellular mechanical cues affect cell mechanics remains elusive. How intracellular mechanical hindrance, reinforcement, and supports interfere with the cell cycle and promote cell death is described here. Reproducible devices with highly controlled size, shape, and with a broad range of stiffness are internalized in HeLa cells. Once inside, they induce characteristic cell-cycle deviations and promote cell death. Device shape and stiffness are the dominant determinants of mechanical impairment. Device structural support to the cell membrane and centering during mitosis maximize their effects, preventing spindle centering, and correct chromosome alignment. Nanodevices reveal that the spindle generates forces larger than 114 nN which overcomes intracellular confinement by relocating the device to a less damaging position. By using intracellular mechanical drugs, this work provides a foundation to defining the role of intracellular constraints on cell function and fate, with relevance to fundamental cell mechanics and nanomedicine.

Adv. Mater. 2022, 34, 2109581.

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