Can graphene for mosquito bites help stop the spread of disease? Researchers “Graphene is impermeable to even small molecules, so it seems likely that this capability is key.”
“Mosquitos can cause significant human suffering, so researchers are looking for innovative ways to prevent them from spreading disease. One recent paper has investigated graphene.
Mosquito bites can be itchy and unpleasant, but that is only the thin end of their deadly wedge. Mosquitos can spread dengue and yellow fever, the Zika and West Nile viruses, chikungunya, and malaria. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquitos are some of the deadliest animals on earth; malaria alone caused 438,000 deaths in 2015.
Although certain products can minimize the risk of a mosquito bite, the authors of the recent study explain that these chemical agents “can have environmental or human health side effects.”
Finding safer, more effective ways of preventing mosquitos from biting is therefore vital.
A recent paper in the journal PNAS has investigated if graphene might help in the war against mosquitos.
According to its authors, some scientists are already investigating ways of using graphene for a “variety of wearable technologies to provide advanced functions that include sensing; temperature regulation; chemical, mechanical, or radiative protection; or energy storage.”
Mosquitos can bite through light fabric clothes; the researchers wondered if a coating of graphene might prevent this.
To investigate, human participants put their arm into a box filled with mosquitos with only a small patch of skin exposed. In some trials, the researchers left the skin uncovered, while in others, they covered the skin with cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is a thin, loose weave fabric.
In other trials, they put graphene directly on the skin, which they then covered with cheesecloth. When the skin remained uncovered or covered with only cheesecloth, mosquitos bit between five and 20 times during the 5-minute trials. However, when they added graphene into the mix, the mosquitos did not bite.”
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Source: Medical News Today