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Thin and comfortable: American scientists invented mosquito-repellent fabric

Mosquitoes are not just annoying irritants when walking in the woods or walking in the evening. They are carriers of dangerous diseases, from which more than a million people die every year around the world. And our usual summer clothes can hardly serve as protection from the bites of these insects. But scientists still managed to develop a fabric that can cope with this task. The publication told about such an unusual discovery. Voice of America.

Photo: Shutterstock

“It's hard to imagine that through such clothes as jeans, military uniforms and other dense fabrics, mosquitoes can easily bite a person. But this is true, says Michael Roey, a researcher at North Carolina State University. “The only thing that can surely protect is a cloak. But in hot and humid weather it is not very pleasant to wear. "

Scientists from the university asked the question: is it possible to create clothes that are comfortable and lightweight, but effective for protecting against mosquitoes? It turned out that this is quite realistic if you make specific mathematical calculations.

“Our discovery is essentially a mathematical formula that can be used to make fabrics that will now be used to sew protective clothing,” says Roey. "Now we know where that border is, which separates ordinary clothes and those that are 100% mosquito-resistant."

The components of the mathematical formula are the specific characteristics of the fabric used.

On the subject: Mosquito myths and truths: from historical facts to bite dangers

“These are such parterres as the distance between the threads, the thickness of the fabric and how the threads are woven together. Our calculations are made for knitwear, but they are also suitable for textile fabrics, says the scientist. "How tightly the threads are intertwined even affects the ability of mosquitoes to bite through the fabric."

All tests were carried out on the most dangerous species of mosquitoes. But the authors of the study argue that their calculations are valid for any species of these insects.

“Only female mosquitoes bite. Therefore, we carried out tests on them. A large number of specimens were used during the test. In addition, we simulated the worst possible scenarios, selecting only very hungry mosquitoes, ”Roi emphasizes.

The material created on the basis of a mathematical formula went through three stages of testing. The first - without human participation, the second used the hand of a volunteer as bait. When the material showed an efficiency of 90%, there was a transition to the third stage.

“We released about 200 mosquitoes into a special cage, then a person came there in our clothes, spent 10 minutes standing and 10 minutes sitting in the cage. After that, we caught mosquitoes, crushed them on paper, so that by the presence of blood we could see how many of them were able to bite, says Roi. - How did we look for bites on the human body? All data were recorded and analyzed. "

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For testing, 2 samples were created - thermal underwear and a shirt, which are worn by American soldiers. Both provide 100% protection against bites. But the startup created by scientists is not going to focus only on the military sphere. These developments are necessary and useful to all people.

“We have conducted research on heat transfer using artificial leather mannequins. Studied, among other things, how air and moisture circulate through our clothes. And if, for example, take thermal underwear, then it is incredibly thin and comfortable - it's like wearing silk. As a result, we were able to create a whole series of clothes for pregnant women. "

The authors of the development claim that they are able to create clothes that are even more comfortable than what we are used to. They can even make a transparent protective fabric if the consumer wants it.

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