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Our innovative method for enhancing substance uptake by plants using selective ablation of light pulses to remove the wax cuticle has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). US Patent Application No. 18/450,483

Vegetable Garden
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The Problem

The foliar spray is a common method for applying substances such as fertilizers, pesticides, and medicines to plants. However, the wax layer on plant leaves can make it difficult for these substances to be absorbed, as it prevents them from moving across the cuticle and into the leaves through the stomatal openings. This results in low absorption rates and increased expenses, as well as negative environmental impacts. In fact, studies have shown that less than 0.1% of sprayed substances actually reach their intended targets. To address this issue, many farmers and agricultural professionals are turning to alternative methods for applying substances to plants, such as Onteko's innovative laser selective ablation system.

The Solution

Introducing Onteko's laser system for improving substance uptake in plants. Our innovative method utilizes ultra-short pulse lasers to safely remove the wax cuticle on a plant's leaves, allowing for almost complete absorption of applied substances. The laser and substance applicator are integrated into a robotic arm for precise dosing, ensuring that your plants get the exact nutrients they need without any risk of damage. With Onteko's laser  technology, you can maximize the effectiveness of your substance applications and improve the health and productivity of your plants.


Foliar spraying is a common method for applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other substances to plants. However, the wax layer on the surface of leaves can make it difficult for these substances to effectively penetrate the plant. This is because the wax layer helps prevent water loss and serves as a defense against pathogens and pests, but it also limits the movement of substances across the cuticle and into the leaves through the stomatal openings. As a result, the efficiency of foliar spraying is often low, leading to higher costs and negative environmental impacts. In fact, only a small fraction (e.g., less than 0.1%) of the agrochemicals sprayed in an agricultural field actually reaches the intended plant tissues

Use examples

Enhancing Nutrient Uptake in Citrus Leaves

Citrus leaves are naturally protected by a wax cuticle, which can hinder the spread of beneficial substances. Recognizing the potential of this technique for other molecules, we set out to demonstrate its effectiveness. Using precise laser treatment, we selectively removed the wax barrier from specific leaf areas, creating an optimal absorption zone. Applying a fluorescent glucose analog to these treated spots showcased our innovation. In a  timelapse video spanning 10 minutes, we observed the remarkable diffusion of the fluorescent substance from the treated region. This striking demonstration illustrates our approach's capacity to enhance substance absorption in citrus leaves.

Enhancing Nutrient Absorption in Tomato Plants

Tomatoes rely heavily on zinc, a vital micronutrient, for processes like enzyme function, DNA synthesis, and growth hormone production. Deficiency can significantly affect yield and quality. However, a challenge arises when trying to boost zinc levels through foliar absorption: the leaf's natural wax cuticle layer can hinder the direct uptake of this essential nutrient. In our study, we devised a solution. By using a light treatment to gently remove this wax barrier, tomato plants absorbed a remarkable 109% more zinc from a zinc sulfate solution compared to a mere 15.6% in control plants. Our approach promises a revolution in how we nourish our crops.

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