The nanomaterial graphene has received significant attention for its potential uses in everything from solar cells to tennis rackets.
The nanomaterial graphene has received significant attention for its potential uses in everything from solar cells to tennis rackets. But a new study by Brown University researchers finds a surprising new use for the material: preventing mosquito bites.
In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers showed that multilayer graphene can provide a two-fold defense against mosquito bites. The ultra-thin yet strong material acts as a barrier that mosquitoes are unable to bite through. At the same time, experiments showed that graphene also blocks chemical signals mosquitoes use to sense that a blood meal is near, blunting their urge to bite in the first place. The findings suggest that clothing with a graphene lining could be an effective mosquito barrier, the researchers say.
“Mosquitoes are important vectors for disease all over the world, and there’s a lot of interest in non-chemical mosquito bite protection,” said Robert Hurt,a professor in Brown’s School of Engineering, leader of Brown's Superfund Research Program and senior author of the paper. “We had been working on fabrics that incorporate graphene as a barrier against toxic chemicals, and we started thinking about what else the approach might be good for. We thought maybe graphene could provide mosquito bite protection as well.”
Read more at Brown University
Image: Researchers created an experimental setup to see if graphene could prevent mosquito bites. CREDIT: Brown University