Nanotechnologies permeate all areas of our lives and agriculture has not escaped. Their use is current in crop production, eg in the application of fertilizers or preservatives. However, it also seems to be very promising for livestock breeding, where they will find application in nutrition, treatment and, last but not least, in reproduction.
If we were to collect the biomass of all the mammals living on our planet at this time, we would probably be surprised by the resulting balance. A full 34% of mammalian biomass is human. Another 62% are livestock and only 4% remain wild mammals, from mice, bats and antelopes to whales. Livestock farming fundamentally shapes the Earth’s environment. One way to reduce the overall burden is to intensify, because we will meet the growing needs of humanity with fewer animals with higher productivity. Livestock production intensifies thanks to advances in breeding and the use of new technologies. Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials will become a major helper in the near future. As reproduction management, including assisted livestock reproduction, is one of the key intensification tools, the advent of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials cannot miss this area.
Nanoparticles measuring 1 to 200 nanometers often behave differently than microparticles made of the same material. A significantly higher ratio of surface to total particle volume plays a role here. In the case of nanoparticles, the phenomena resulting from the effects of quantum physics are thus more pronounced. To put it simply, nanoparticles, by their properties, often deviate from our long-held ideas and common sense may not be enough to understand them. Nanoparticles can differ from microparticles by their electric charge, reactivity, binding ability to different surfaces and their ability to penetrate into cells. *