(Photo : TU Eindhoven/YouTube)
Dutch scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology were able to create an artificial leaf that can produce medicines almost anywhere in the world. The artificial leaf uses sunlight for its production. The unique machine was made possible by recreating photosynthesis.
According to Science Recorded, the researchers were inspired by the ability of plants to make their own food through photosynthesis. Industrial chemists already tried for many years to replicate the natural process but failed. The energy that the sun generates is not enough to fuel the needed chemical reactions.
In order to make the project successful, the researchers used materials that that has the same capacities of the leaves to catch and store solar radiation. The said materials were called, luminescent solar concentrators or LSCs.
The silicon rubber LSCs’ has thin leaf-shaped channels wherein liquid or chemicals are being pumped. This brings them in contact with the high concentration of sunlight absorbed and it then generates chemical reactions.
In the official website of Eindhoven University of Technology, it was mentioned that the initial example experiment the researchers made surpassed their expectations. However, there is still plenty of room for improvements and developments. The researchers led by Dr. Timothy Noël explained, “We now have a powerful tool at our disposal that enables the sustainable, sunlight-based production of valuable chemical products like drugs or crop protection agents.”
This artificial leaf project can help change the future of medicine production. With its success, this will allow drugs to be created as long as there is sunlight. When it comes to drugs production, Noël said that “Using a reactor like this means you can make drugs anywhere, in principle, whether malaria drugs in the jungle or paracetamol on Mars. All you need is sunlight and this mini-factory.”
In other medicine production news, Jobs & Hire reported that through the use of nanotechnology scientists discovered the medication and process that can finally help cure the deadly HIV/AIDS virus.
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