Due to the wide spread of mosquitoes which spreading malaria; this developing an new study were researchers suggesting; that lining clothes with graphene could prevent the spread of malaria, as mosquitoes are not able to pick up on chemical signals from the body; that encourage them to bite. Graphene also acting as a physical barrier in experiments with the material, being too strong for mosquitoes to bite through.
Graphene, a nanomaterial that has been the subject of many theories and studies since the 1900s, is a type of carbon that is made up of a single layer of atoms in a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. Mosquito Bite Prevention Through Graphene Barrier Layers study explore a nonchemical method for mosquito bite prevention based on graphene; the atomically thin sheet of carbon atoms, as a potential barrier material.
Lining clothes with graphene
Despite being lightweight in nature, graphene is 100 times stronger than steel; is almost transparent, and is highly conductive, and its first patent was only accepting in 2006. The study explains that graphene-based materials are being made for sensing, temperature regulation, chemical, mechanical and radiative protection, and energy storage, but the possibility; that graphene material may protect against mosquito bites has not been exploring until now.
Mosquitoes are important vectors for disease all over the world, and there’s a lot of interest in non-chemical mosquito bite protection. The study had been working on fabrics that incorporate graphene as a barrier against toxic chemicals; and we starting thinking about what else the approach might be good for. Researchers thought maybe graphene could provide mosquito bite protection as well.
The researchers conducted experiments in which some participants had their arms covered in graphene oxide films and cheesecloth, and others in only cheesecloth. The participants then put their arms into mosquito enclosures to see whether they would get bitten. They finding that participants covering in both cheesecloth and graphene oxide were not bitting at all.
Deterring the mosquitoes
But with graphene, the mosquitoes were not even landing on the skin patch; they just did not seem to care; assuming that graphene would be a physical barrier to biting; through puncture resistance, but when we seeing these experiments we starting to think that it was also a chemical barrier; that preventing mosquitoes from sensing that someone is there.
To confirm that it was graphene that was deterring the mosquitoes; human sweat was put on the outside of the graphene material; which did attract the insects to try and feed. This confirming that graphene was not triggering the mosquitoes instinct to bite; through blocking chemical signals produced in sweat on the body; which alerts mosquitoes that a potential food source is nearby.