ISLAMABAD            -          A new polymer coating could serve as a safer alternative to pesticides in controlling harmful fungi that devastate plant crops. UK scientists used a coating of (meth) acrylate polymer, which is normally used to make acrylic plastics, to block fungi from attaching to surfaces. The coating, which was shown to be effective on plants, averts the need for expensive chemical fungicides, to which fungi are increasingly becoming resistant. The polymer layer can be administered as both a spray for crops without rendering them inedible, or alternatively 3D-printed into solid form for medical applications. The polymer mix doesn’t kill fungi such as yeast and moulds, but ‘passively blocks’ their attachment to surfaces to make them safe. ‘This is the first high-throughput study of polymer chemistries resisting fungal attachment,’ said Professor Simon Avery from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham.