Recently, German researchers presented a new mosquito repellent. Coming from 3D printing and in the form of a wearable accessory such as a ring or bracelet, this mosquito repellent poses less risk to human health.
A new mosquito repellent
According to National Geographic, there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes. However, only three species are mainly responsible for the spread of human diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya or different types of fevers and encephalitis. Each year, mosquitoes cause the death of around one million people around the world. Moreover, the proliferation of these insects – and therefore of diseases – is favored by global warming.
It is therefore not surprising to see that mosquito repellent products and other devices are more popular than ever. However, sprays, among others, are likely to harm human health due to the presence of N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). This is a synthetic chemical – known since the 1950s – that can trigger allergies, despite its effectiveness against mosquitoes.
Thus, researchers at the Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) have developed a new mosquito repellent. Resulting from 3D printing, the latter was the subject of a publication in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics on August 25, 2022.
An accessory made from a biodegradable polymer
The German scientists’ device is presented as a portable accessory containing the repellent. However, this repellent is not of synthetic origin like DEET. Indeed, it is an organic compound: ethyl butylacetylaminopropanoate (IR3535). Usually, natural repellents see their effectiveness fade after a few hours, but researchers have found a solution. They have indeed included the product in their accessory which can take the form of a ring or a bracelet made of a biodegradable polymer: polylactic acid (PLA).
The idea of the scientists is to ensure that the product is constantly diffused. However, the rate of evaporation depends on several factors: the temperature and the polymer used. The leaders of the study conducted various tests with positive results in controlled environments. Already, the researchers claim that the product takes about a week to evaporate completely, at a body temperature of 37°.
Nevertheless, further research should be carried out in order to provide certainty concerning the operation of the device in real conditions. This is mainly to determine under what conditions the object works best.