Agritech imaging of sub-surface plant root growth using a distributed fiber optic sensor
Root system architecture is shown to determine crop resilience and productivity, which is key to solve the rising threat of food insecurity. Root grows invisibly underground, thus it is difficult to track root development non-invasively and real-time. In this study, we developed a novel imaging device using a distributed fiber optic sensor. By formulating the sensor into a plastic and durable polytetrafluoroethylene film structure, the device could continuously monitor strains generated by root growth underground. This novel device represents a significant addition for agricultural technology which increasingly becoming automated with seamless feedback through Internet-of-Things remote sensors.
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (Japan)
Mika Tei is a postdoc at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth and Technology (JAMSTEC) after completing two years of JAMSTEC Young Research Fellowship at Yokosuka, Japan. Her research focuses on a synthetic biology approach to design biological systems for applications in medicine, bioenergy, and agriculture through utilization of computational modeling and genetic engineering. Mika completed her Ph.D. in Bioengineering in the Joint UCSF-UC Berkeley Bioengineering Program in 2018, where she studied the rational design of genetic circuits and biological modules in the laboratory of Professor Adam P. Arkin. Prior to entering the field of synthetic biology, her training was in translational medicine and biomedical engineering. She holds a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University where she did research on biophotonics for medical imaging under Professor Xingde Li.