Scientists have developed a wearable ring that repels insects

Insect Repellent Ring
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insect protection ring

This is what the ring that could help repel insects looks like. Photo credits: Uni Halle / Fanfan Du

A new printable and wearable insect repellent.

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) Scientists have invented a new type of insect repellent dispenser. The active ingredient is first “encapsulated” and formed into the appropriate shape, such as a ring, which can then be worn and releases an active ingredient intended to repel mosquitoes over a longer period of time. The team published their results in the International Journal of Pharmacy.

Researchers used “IR3535,” an insect repellent developed by MERCK, to make their prototypes.

“Mosquito sprays with IR3535 are very gentle on the skin and have been used worldwide for many years. That’s why we use the active ingredient for our experiments,” says Professor René Androsch from MLU.

It typically comes in the form of a spray or lotion and offers protection for several hours. However, Androsch and his colleagues are looking for methods to release the active ingredient over a much longer period of time, such as B. encapsulation in a wearable ring or bracelet.

Insect repellent was carefully incorporated into a biodegradable polymer using special 3D printing technology, and the compound was successfully shaped in a number of ways. “The basic idea is that the insect repellent continuously evaporates and forms a barrier for insects,” explains the first author of the study, Fanfan Du, a doctoral student at MLU.

The rate at which the insect repellent evaporates depends on many different factors, including temperature, concentration, and the structure of the polymer used. After conducting various experiments and simulations, the team predicts that at a temperature of 37 °C (98.6 °F, ie body temperature), the insect repellent will take well over a week to fully evaporate.

While the researchers have proven that it is entirely possible to create a wearable insect repellent, the rings and other shapes created for the study are only prototypes. According to Androsch, how well the rings work under real conditions still needs to be investigated further. The potting material could also be further optimized.

References: “3D printing of the polymer/insect repellent system Poly(l-lactic[{” attribute=””>acid)/ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate (PLLA/IR3535)” by Fanfan Du, Harald Rupp, Katalee Jariyavidyanont, Andreas Janke, Albrecht Petzold, Wolfgang Binder and René Androsch, 14 July 2022, International Journal of Pharmaceutics.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122023

The study was funded by the German Research Foundation and within the framework of the graduate school “AGRIPOLY” at MLU. “AGRIPOLY” is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the state of Saxony-Anhalt.


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