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Nanotextiles Embedded with Insect Repellent Protects Against Mosquitoes

A novel breakthrough to create textiles with mosquito repellent was reported in a study published in the journal Materials Chemistry and Physics

Study: Synthesis of polymeric particles with insect repellent for potential application on textile substrates. Image Credit: nechaevkon/Shutterstock.com

High-performance liquid chromatography affirmed the encapsulation of IR3535®, proving the effectiveness of the encapsulated active layer. The emulsion polymerization procedures generated insect repellent submicroparticles, introducing a promising structure for mosquito bite safeguard with potential applications in textiles

Mosquito Breeding as a Result of Climate Change

Climate change has resulted in warmer temperatures and more humid conditions, ideal for mosquito breeding. Aedes aegypti, for instance, is responsible for the rise of vector-borne infectious infections. As a result, insect repellents are frequently used to protect against any of these diseases.

Effective insect repellents with varying concentrations and durations of action are commercially available and can be applied directly to the skin, engrained in textile substrates, or inserted in fabrics. Meanwhile, so many active insect repellents are volatile, have a short duration of safeguards, and in some cases cause allergic dermatitis once applied topically to the skin.

Cosmetotextiles, Textile with Active Surface

With advancements in textile and garments research, recently developed textiles with cosmetic active surface treatment, known as "cosmetotextiles," can conceivably be used with pharmaceutical and cosmetic substances implemented to textile surfaces for wellness and well-being applications.

Microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation innovations are used in textile textures to obtain these functional effects and provide the desired performance level with increased durability and lower evaporation rates. Encapsulated components can be integrated into textiles at various stages of manufacturing, such as fiber and yarn preparation and impregnation in textiles and clothing; even so, the fabric's comfort, breathability, and low price must be preserved.

According to the existing literature, DEET microcapsules used in bed nets inhibit blood-feeding and kill mosquitos for at least six months. 

Encapsulation Technique Using Nanoparticle

However, research on encapsulated organic repellents' residual repellency has been limited to citronella microparticles applied to cotton fibers for 20 days of safeguard against Aedes aegypti mosquitos.

Nanoencapsulation methods have also added features to textiles such as thermoregulatory, antimicrobial coating for cotton-gauzes, fire retardancy, UV protection, and drug development. Furthermore, submicroparticles and nanomaterials can be integrated into the fiber during extrusion or as a textile completion.

The encapsulation process produces the nanoparticles used for nano finishing or surface coating of textile substrates. They are made up of 1–1000 nm spherical particles with a thin outer layer (shell) that stores fluid and small solid particles or disperses solids in liquids for a set period. Integrating the used core and shell constructions is an essential part of encapsulation techniques.

New Nanotechnology Method, the Pickering Emulsions

The "Pickering emulsions" encapsulation method employs a variety of emulsions, including oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions. Rather than emulsifiers, fine particles are used to stabilize the emulsified droplets via adsorption of solid particles at those surfaces, lowering the system's absolute free energy.

The existence of silica nanoparticles in the shape of a colloidal solid hinders nanoparticle coalescence and enables coagulation regulation. Furthermore, this technique enables the polymerization of hydrophobic and hydrophilic monomer units without emulsifiers or protective colloids.

This alters the self-aggregation of solid particles only at the interaction of particles polymerized by free radicals derived from the dissolution of a hydrophilic initiator in an aqueous solution, activating polymerization by splitting the double bonds of the monomers.

Results and Future Research

To test the performance of the textile impregnated well with submicrorepellent to restrict the blood-feeding behavior patterns of female mosquitoes, researchers exposed a mouse towards the mosquitoes while wearing the control textile (without the submicrorepellent). In an effort to bite it, the mosquitoes probed the attractant.

No bites were recorded on the attractant or where the fabric was implanted with the submicrorepellent. Under laboratory settings, this emerging evidence suggests that textile including with submicrorepellent can repel mosquitos and decrease their host-seeking abilities.

The burst tensile strengths were unaffected by the submicrorepellent implanted into the fabric. Colorimetric assessments of the fabric's outward design after insertion acknowledged that the color difference was comparatively imperceptible to the human eye. Eventually, the in vivo effectiveness test results indicated that the textile substances inserted with submicrorepellent in the concentration levels used were effective to protect against Aedes aegypti mosquito. Future research into the controlled drug release of the repellent is critical.

Continue reading: The Role of Nanotechnology in the Production of Fabrics.

Reference

Santos, D., et al. (2021) Synthesis of polymeric particles with insect repellent for potential application on textile substrates. Materials Chemistry and Physics. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254058421014450

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Akhlaqul Karomah

Written by

Akhlaqul Karomah

Akhlaqul has a passion for engineering, renewable energy, science, and business development.

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