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Nanomagnetic Plants
updated by Laura Cinti - 17 Aug 2013


Nanomagnetic Plants (2011) involves the development and implementation of a novel interface to allow audience to visibility interact with plants.  

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
Nanomagnetic Plants (2011) CABI Official Opening, UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging

Nanomagnetic Plants explores scientific possibilities of having living plants respond visibly to touch. Using novel biomedical nanotechnology, a strategy to induce responsive motion in living plants was devised.  

This involved internalising the biomedical magnetic nanoparticles within the plants resulting in movement when strong magnets were positioned near the plants. 

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
Nanomagnetic Plants (2011) CABI Official Opening, UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging 

This work was inspired by biomedical preclinical applications where magnetic nanoparticles were coated with drugs and guided to sites (e.g. brain and heart) for drug delivery inside living organisms (e.g. rats) using external magnets.

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
Magnetically actuated cress plants (2008) 

The question was whether this nanotechnology could be applied to plants, and whether these particles could be internalised to induce movement that could be perceived by the naked eye.
 
The experiments began in 2007, with successful results 2008.  Movement was instantaneous (magnetically-supported), though slight, towards an external magnet, opening a way of performing a type of tactile plasticity in plants.

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
Nanomagnetic Plants (2011), Slade Research Centre

The artwork was presented as a live experiment for the first time in a private exhibition at the Slade Research Centre in January 2011. 

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11Nanomagnetic Plants (2011) CABI Official Opening, UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging

A few months later premiered publicly for the first time at the opening launch of UCL Centre of Advanced Biomedical Imaging with over 300 attending guests.

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
The new multidisciplinary research centre for experimental biomedical imaging, was officially opened by the Provost and President of UCL, Malcolm Grant.

Nanomagnetic Plants was presented internationally at Techfest 2012 at IIT Bombay in 2012 with over 95000 attending guests.  

Laura Cinti, 'Nanomagnetic Plants', 2008/11
Nanomagnetic Plants (2008/11) Techfest 2012, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India, January 2012  



Acknowledgements:

The experiment was conducted at C-LAB (London, UK) from June 2007 until February 2008, Slade Research Centre (London, UK) in January 2011, UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging (London, UK) in April 2011 and at Techfest 2012, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India in January 2012.  
 
Sincerest gratitude to Dr Mark Lythgoe.  Special thanks to Drs. Panagiotis Kyrtatos, Mathew Kallumadil, Astrid Wingler and Ana Prieto. The nanoparticles were kindly provided Dr Mathew Kallumadil (London Centre for Nanotechnology) in 2008 and by UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging in 2011 and 2012.  
Other References: C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 1: Arrival
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 2: Lab Trouble
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 3: Bacteria wake up to Indian summer
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 4-5: LAB-24
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 5: Opening
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 6: Living works come to life
C-LAB:blog: Techfest Day 7: Final push :)
C-LAB:blog: UCL CABI Opening
C-LAB:event: CABI OFFICIAL OPENING
C-LAB:event: C-LAB PREMIERS LIVING SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY WORKS AT TECHFEST 2012
C-LAB:experiment: Magnetically actuated Cress plants
C-LAB:project: Banana Bacteria
C-LAB:project: Nanomagnetic Plants
C-LAB:project: Stress-o-stat
IIT Bombay
Techfest 2012
Overview
Year
2011
Status
Completed
Group(s)
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