Graphene-based wearables to prevent mosquito bites

Graphene-based films, applied to skin or in smart fabrics, can potentially protect skin from mosquitoes, according to a study. Graphene, a one-atom-thick carbon nanomaterial, combines several unique physical, electrical, and chemical properties. Robert Hurt, Huajian Gao, and colleagues hypothesized that graphene-based wearables might offer a chemical-free option against the mosquito feeding apparatus, a bundle of microneedles that penetrate not only skin but also light, fiber-based fabrics. Using experiments with live Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, as well as needle penetration force measurements and mathematical modeling, the authors found that skin patches fortified with graphene-based films impeded Ae. aegypti biting behaviors. Rather than conferring mechanical puncture resistance, the patches blocked the mosquitoes’ ability to detect molecular attractants that draw them to human skin. Although water or human sweat outside the patches thwarted the skin-masking effect, the patches offered a measure of puncture resistance. The findings provide a basis for designing graphene-based wearables that protect against insect bites, according to the authors.

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Article #19-06612: “Mosquito bite prevention through graphene barrier layers,” by Cintia J. Castilho et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert H. Hurt, Brown University, Providence, RI; tel: 401-863-2685; e-mail:

robert_hurt@brown.edu

; Huajian Gao, Brown University, Providence, RI; tel: 401-863-2626; e-mail:

huajian_gao@brown.edu

This part of information is sourced from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-08/potn-gwt082119.php

Robert H. Hurt
401-863-2685
robert_hurt@brown.edu

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