Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Growing Plants on Thin Films: Imec

Mebiol has developed Imec, a technology for growing plants on special films just tens of microns thick, called hydro-membranes. Hydro-membranes make it possible for plants to take up only water and nutrients, without letting harmful bacteria, nematodes, or viruses through.

Hydro-membranes are made from water-absorbent hydro-gel, which is used in diapers. They prevent water leaking to the outside. This characteristic is also used in research by NASA on plant cultivation in space.

Currently, Mebiol has succeeded in cultivating tomatoes, musk melons, and cucumbers using Imec. In the future, the company wants to make the film stronger, so the film can be used to grow plants with stronger roots, such as trees.

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