CSIP: PRELIMS BOOSTER SERIES-406 Science and Technology




Researchers introduced a ground-breaking study on “electronic soil” (eSoil) in hydroponics, offering the potential for sustainable urban agriculture and food security.

What is eSoil?

eSoil is a groundbreaking low-power bioelectronic growth scaffold designed to enhance crop seedling growth in hydroponic settings. It acts as a substrate for plants, combining the structural support of traditional mediums like coir or perlite with the unique ability to electrically stimulate the plant’s root system.

How does it work?

eSoil is made of cellulose, a sustainable and abundant biopolymer, mixed with a conductive polymer called PEDOT. This combination allows the material to conduct electricity at low voltages. By applying a small electrical current, eSoil triggers positive biological responses in the plant’s roots, leading to faster and healthier growth.


  • Increased growth rate: Research has shown that plants grown in eSoil can experience up to a 50% increase in dry weight compared to traditional hydroponic methods.
  • Improved resource efficiency: eSoil’s ability to directly stimulate growth can lead to the need for less water and nutrients, making it a more sustainable option.
  • Versatility: While currently tested on barley seedlings, eSoil has the potential to benefit a wide range of crops in hydroponic settings.
  • Low environmental impact: Made from biodegradable materials and requiring minimal energy to operate, eSoil offers a more environmentally friendly approach to agriculture.


  • Cost: The production process for eSoil is currently more expensive than traditional hydroponic substrates.
  • Optimization: More research is needed to understand the ideal electrical stimulation parameters for different plant species and growth stages.
  • Scalability: Scaling up eSoil production for large-scale agricultural applications remains a challenge.

Overall, eSoil technology holds immense potential for revolutionizing agriculture by promoting faster, more efficient, and sustainable crop production. Further research and development are crucial for overcoming current limitations and bringing this exciting technology to the fields.