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Might evaporation-induced droplet patterns serve in agro-homeopathic research and support experimental trials?
24 January 2018 (online)
Agro-homeopathy provides numerous solutions for a sustainable agricultural production, like for instance cost-saving and residue-free treatments for yield improvement and management of diseases and pests. However, one of the main difficulties in this approach is the right treatment choice (i.e. the curative principle and its dilution level) that often requires numerous time & cost consuming experimental trials.
In the present experiment we applied the droplet evaporation method, previously developed by our research team for wheat quality analysis, to test the influence of highly diluted homeopathic treatments (HD) of Arsenicum album on both healthy and previously arsenic trioxide stressed wheat seeds (isopathic model). The pattern evaluation of the resulting polycrystalline structures consisted in (i) the calculation of their local connected fractal dimension, known to reflect the pattern complexity, and (ii) in the fluctuating asymmetry measurement, known to be inversely correlated with the symmetry exactness of the structures, and thus also the vitality of the sample. In polycrystalline structures formed under the same conditions these two measurements have been found to reflect the sample health. Additionally, in order to support the crystallographic data with traditional analysis methods for seed viability, we performed the seed germination test and measured the shoot lengths: our results show that the complexity and symmetry of polycrystalline structures correlates with the viability of non-stressed and stressed wheat seeds following Arsenicum album HD with respect to control.
These first results indicate that the droplet evaporation method might constitute a support for experimental trials and/or a pre-screening method for treatment test, since it shows to be sensitive to the sample vitality.