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TASTYGEL: sustainable release of nutrients by smart micro- and nanogels based on polyetheramines-bisepoxide for Agriculture purposes

Abstract

This FAPESP research project (young investigator JP-phase 2) will be developed by a multidisciplinary team with a principal investigator and four associate researchers (one of these researchers is from NDSU - North Dakota State University, USA, one is from WSU - Washington State University, USA, and two are from universities in Brazil) as well as undergraduate and graduate students. The current project will allow the expansion of the research area created in the young investigator FAPESP-Phase 1 grant, supporting the development of the topic addressed, in this case, the use of materials as controlled release systems. In addition, the inclusion of associate researchers from international universities will be of extremely important for I) the development and discussion of the project results; II) internationalization of the postgraduate program of the UNIFRAN; and III) expansion of the researcher's network of the leader researcher. In this project, we propose to develop micro- and nanogels (from commercially available reagents) based on aliphatic polyetheramines and bisepoxide for agricultural purposes. In particular, the use of these gels for controlled release of nutrients, i.e., Zn, Co, Mn, Ni, Cu and Mo for germination. The gels will be generated by a facile one-pot process through aggregation polymerization of an in situ formed polymer. Moreover, this metodology will allow us to fine-size-tuning the gel particles from the nanometer to the micron scale and control the water absorbed into the gels simply by adjsuting the monomer concentration and nature - hydrophilic/hydrophobic. Modulating the profile and release kinetics of the nutrients from these gels will involve their understanding both from the conceptual point of view and will lead to the development new multifunctional materials for agricultural uses. (AU)

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