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Table 1 Stimuli-responsive nanoparticles for the delivery of agrochemicals in response to biotic and abiotic stressors

From: Development of stimuli-responsive nano-based pesticides: emerging opportunities for agriculture

Material Bioactive substances Stimuli Stimuli-responsive trigger Conditions Particle properties Bioactivity References
Silica 2,4-Dichlorophenoxy (herbicide) pH/ionic strength/temperature Trimethyl ammonium 423 nm
67.8 mV
Herbicidal activity in Cucumis sativus and reduction of leaching process [76]
Chitosan and tripolyphosphate Hexaconazole (fungicide) pH Chitosan < 100 nm Fungicidal activity against R. solani and cytotoxicity reduction [28]
Silica Triazolone (fungicide) pH Polydopamine and metal ions 1.5–10 nm No biological activity assays [93]
Lignin Coumarin-6 pH Lignin 100–400 nm No biological activity assays [6]
Chitosan Copper ions (fungicide) pH Chitosan 361 nm
22 mV
Fungicidal activity against C. luneta and stimulation of the plant defense mechanism [29]
Silica Abamectin (insecticide) pH Polystyrene and-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate 140 nm Insecticidal activity against Cnaphalocrocis medinalis and increased leaf adhesion [23]
Poly(succinate) Nile red pH Functionalization with primary amines 8–83 nm No biological activity assays [27]
Zein No active compounds pH Zein 210–297 nm Soil degradation evaluation [94]
Silica Avermectin (insecticide) pH and enzymes Cyclodextrin 380–400 nm Insecticidal activity against Plutella xylostella [15]
Alginate and chitosan Acetamiprid (insecticide) pH Alginate and chitosan 201 nm
− 32 mV
No biological activity assays [66]
Silica Gibberellic acid (plant growth regulator) pH/metabolites and ultrasound Iron nanoparticles 139–189 nm Increase in germination rate of cabbage and Arabidopsis thaliana [8]
ɣ-Polyglutamic acid and chitosan Avermectin (nematicide) pH ɣ-Polyglutamic acid and chitosan 56–62 nm Nematicidal activity [30]
Silica Prochloraz (fungicide) pH/temperature/enzymes Chitosan 340 nm
34 mV
Fungicidal activity and reduction of toxicity to zebrafish [39]
Alginate Cypermethrin (fungicide) pH Alginate 115–119 nm
− 21 mV
Reductions of leaching and phytotoxicity [35]
Silica Diquat (herbicide) pH Functionalization with sulfonated groups 240 nm
− 17 mV
Herbicidal activity against Datura stramonium L. [95]
Graphene oxide Salicylaldehyde pH Functionalization with hydrazine 300 nm No biological activity assays [73]
Graphene oxide Imidazole (fungicide) pH Polydopamine − 30 mV Fungicidal activity against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum and reduction of leaching process [71]
Poly(succinate) and glycine Avermectin (insecticide/nematicide) pH Glycine methyl ester 56 nm Activity against Plutella xylostella and high leaf adhesion [65]
Silica Curcumin pH Chitosan 139–222 nm Antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli [36]
Polydopamine and attapulgite Chlorpyrifos (insecticide) pH Alginate 20 nm Increased larval mortality [96]
Silica Azoxystrobin (fungicide) pH Chitosan 152 nm Fungicidal activity against Phytophthora infestans [37]
Silica Abscisic acid (plant growth regulator) Redox Disulfide bond with decanethiol Increase of glutathione concentration 20 nm Plant development, reduction of hydric stress, and induction of sustained expression of defense gene (AtGALK2) in Arabidopsis [48]
Silica Salicylic acid (plant growth regulator) Redox Disulfide bond with decanethiol Increase of glutathione concentration 85 nm Induction of sustained expression of defense gene (PR-1) in Arabidopsis [46]
Chitosan Gibberellic acid (plant growth regulator) Temperature Alginate/chitosan 195–450 nm Increased seed germination and plant development [79]
Silica Thymol (fungicide) pH/temperature Carboxylic, amino, and hydroxyl groups 200 nm No biological activity assays [74]
Attapulgite nanocomposite Herbicide Temperature Glyphosate 0.5–1000 nm Herbicide activity/high leaf adhesion [9]
Polymeric micelle Insecticide Temperature Pyrethrin 80–130 nm Higher larvicidal activity against Culex pipiens pallens [67]
Biochar and attapulgite Herbicide Light Azobenzene UV, Vis, UV–Vis, and sunlight 93.7% of Bermuda weed was controlled with herbicide particles under UV–Vis exposure [13]
Polyethylene glycol Herbicide 3-Nitro-4-bromomethylbenzoic acid UV light (365 nm) 51 to ~ 63 nm [77]
Carboxymethyl chitosan Herbicide 2-nitrobenzyl succinate UV light (365 nm) and sunlight 196 nm
26.2 mV
EE: 91.9%
Photo-removable protecting group Herbicide Coumarin UV–Vis light (310, 350, and 410 nm) Vigna radiata growth inhibition [69]
Plant growth regulator Coumarin Sunlight Promoted shoot and root growth of Cicer arietinum [80]
Sex pheromone Coumarin, pyrene, anthracene UV and sunlight Promoted better attraction of moths (Chilo partellus), compared to the free compounds [70]
Insecticide Coumarin Blue light (420 nm) or sunlight Insecticidal effects against Aphis craccivora under light exposure [68]
Insecticide Coumarin Blue light (420 nm) or sunlight Insecticidal effects against Mythimna separata under blue light exposure [12]
Acrylate and polyethylene glycol Herbicide Coumarin UV light (310 nm) Inhibition of root growth of Curcubita maxima [14]
Cucurbut[8]uril Herbicide Azobenzene Sun light (360–800 nm) 187 nm
− 21.7 mV
EE: 16.4%
Paraquat-loaded vesicles were efficient in controlling Estuca arundinaceae with a quick release of herbicide [21]
Polydopamine capped with PNIPAm Insecticide Near-infrared laser/temperature Photothermal polydopamine NIR irradiation (808 nm, at 2 W/cm2) and temperature at 40 °C ~ 250 nm [97]
Graphene oxide coated with polydopamine Fungicide Near-infrared laser/pH NIR laser (808 nm, 1.5 W/cm2), pH 9 − 30.5 mV Activity against Fusarium oxysporum [71]
Silica and carboxymethylcellulose Insecticide Enzyme Cellulase pH 7 at 25 °C 1 to ~ 3 μm
EE: 35%
Cellulase-responsive properties with sustainable insecticidal activity against Myzus persicae [3]
Silica and pectin Antibiotic Pectinase and glutathione pH 7 at 25 °C 1 to ~ 2 μm
EE: 20%
Improved efficacy of kasugamycin against Erwinia carotovora [58]
Hollow mesoporous silica and cyclodextrin Insecticide α-Amylase pH 7 at 25 °C 400 nm
− 36 mV
EE: 38%
Enhanced the stability and activity of avermectin against Plutella xylostella [15]
mesoporous silica cross-linked with polyethylenimine
Herbicide Urease pH 7 at 25 °C 3 to ~ 5 μm
EE: 30%
The microcapsules increased herbicidal duration and activity against Echinochloa crus-galli and Amaranthus retroflexus [2]
  1. EE Encapsulation efficiency