Scientists Control Microscopic Flowers’ Shape As They Grow

Scientists Control Microscopic Flowers’ Shape As They Grow

Scientists are able to manipulate these plants into different configurations and sizes

Ross Brooks
  • 20 may 2013

Getting something to grow on a microscopic level is fairly straightforward – what makes these flowers different is that Wim Noorduin has figured out a way to control their shape using different variables.

Controlling factors such as temperature, pH and carbon dioxide content allowed the researchers to direct the growth of these nano-flowers. The reason for flowers, stems and vases was due to their relatively simple shapes, making the first attempts at influencing how these cultures grow a little bit easier.


As described by Noorduin, all you need is a beaker of water mixed with barium salts and sodium silicate, a flat plate to put inside the beaker for the flowers to grow on, and a lid.


Wim Noorduin

+carbon dioxide
+Harvard University

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