A New Microsensor System for Plant Root Zone Monitoring
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The objective of this work is to develop a new microsensor system that can monitor dissolved oxygen and hydration environment at the plant root zone. A miniaturized plant growth system is prepared including the root zone layer, either a porous ceramic tube or porous ceramic wafer on which the plant is grown, and an underlying fluidic channel to deliver nutrients and water to the root zone. We demonstrate the feasibility of using a flexible microsensor array for dissolved oxygen detection, and a four-electrode impedance microelectrode for wetness detection on the surface of a porous tube nutrient delivery system. The unique features of the microsensor array and microelectrodes include small size, simple structure, mechanical flexibility and multipoint sensing. The new plant root microsystem technology is anticipated being a novel tool for plant root physiology.