2023 journal article
Mosquito Blood Feeding Prevention Using an Extra-Low DC Voltage Charged Cloth
Mosquito vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue pose a major threat to human health. Personal protection from mosquito blood feeding is mostly by treating clothing with insecticides and the use of repellents on clothing and skin. Here, we developed a low-voltage, mosquito-resistant cloth (MRC) that blocked all blood feeding across the textile and was flexible and breathable. The design was based on mosquito head and proboscis morphometrics, the development of a novel 3-D textile with the outer conductive layers insulated from each other with an inner, non-conductive woven mesh, and the use of a DC (direct current; extra-low-voltage) resistor-capacitor. Blockage of blood feeding was measured using host-seeking Aedes aegypti adult female mosquitoes and whether they could blood feed across the MRC and an artificial membrane. Mosquito blood feeding decreased as voltage increased from 0 to 15 volts. Blood feeding inhibition was 97.8% at 10 volts and 100% inhibition at 15 volts, demonstrating proof of concept. Current flow is minimal since conductance only occurs when the mosquito proboscis simultaneously touches the outside layers of the MRC and is then quickly repelled. Our results demonstrated for the first time the use of a biomimetic, mosquito-repelling technology to prevent blood feeding using extra-low energy consumption.