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Application of Biosensors and Nanosensors in Agriculture

The process of increasing food production has presented agricultural ecosystems with numerous challenges, including the persistence of residual pesticide molecules, heavy metal accretion in the soil, and contamination with toxic elemental particles which have a negative impact on the agricultural environment as well as crop productivity. The accumulation of toxic elements into the human body system through bio-magnification in agricultural products causes a variety of health issues, including nerve and heart disorders, metabolic disorders, infertility, damages of biological functions at the cellular level, and leading to 220,000 annual deaths all over the world. The current practices for monitoring agrochemicals on agricultural ecosystems rely on techniques such as gas chromatography (GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HP-LC) and others, which have a number of limitations, for instance, being expensive, time-consuming with inconvenient protocols and requiring sophisticated equipment and trained personnel. The development of nanotechnology has offered rapid development of bio and nanosensors for the detection of several metal and pesticides components which range from a few minimal nanogram levels onwards. Therefore, the present article focuses on different bio and nanosensors, how they are used to monitoring agricultural ecosystems and highlights the factor affecting the implementation from proof-of-concept to the commercialization stage.