Pennsylvania Patent of the Month – July 2023

Plants are not only essential for the environment but also add beauty and vibrancy to our surroundings. Have you ever wondered if there was a way to enhance the colors of plants? Well, thanks to the innovative electrochemical system developed by Matergenics Inc., it is now possible to electrochemically color plants and create stunning visual displays in gardens and landscapes.

Matergenics Inc. is a state-of-the-art materials testing laboratory and corrosion engineering firm focused on developing new, innovative solutions for complex materials problems to enable clients to improve existing products or processes, develop new materials, and circumvent future materials failures.

Recently, the company has been granted a patent for their plant coloring technology. Through the use of an electrochemical process, any plant can be dyed without impacting plant health or vitality. Altering or improving a plant’s color can have both functional and aesthetic purposes. For instance, plant colors serve to attract insects, birds, and animals for both pollination and seed dispersal.

The electrochemical system works by utilizing an electrolyte solution containing various charged coloring agents. These agents can include colorants, dyes, pigments, or even food coloring. The system consists of an electrochemical cell with a first electrode inserted into the growth media and a second electrode inserted into the plant. By connecting these electrodes, a potential difference is created, which drives the charged coloring agents from the growth media into the plant, resulting in a beautifully colored plant.

The system is incredibly versatile and can be used with different growth media, including soil, clay, or water, making it suitable for various plant types and environments. Whether you want to add vibrant hues to flowers, leaves, or fruits, the electrochemical system offers a unique and effective method of achieving the desired colors.

The power source used to create the potential difference can be tailored to individual needs. It can range from a solar cell for eco-conscious enthusiasts to an AC power source with a transformer for larger-scale applications. This flexibility allows users to adapt the system to their specific requirements and environmental considerations.

Not only does the electrochemical system provide a novel way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of plants, but it also opens up possibilities for scientific experiments and research. By studying the effects of different coloring agents and electrical stimuli on plant growth, scientists can gain valuable insights into the fascinating world of plant biology and physiology.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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