Scientists have developed a wearable ring that repels insects

Insect Repellent Ring
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Insect repellent ring

This is what a ring that can help repel insects looks like. Credit: 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 transmission device. The active ingredient is first “encapsulated” and molded into a suitable shape, such as a ring, which can then be worn and release the agent designed to repel mosquitoes for a long time. The team has published its results International Journal of Pharmacy.

The researchers used MERCK’s insect repellent “IR3535” to create their prototype.

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

It usually comes in the form of a spray or lotion and provides protection for several hours. However, Androsch and his colleagues are looking for ways to release the agent for longer periods of time, such as encasing it in a wearable ring or bracelet.

The insect repellent was carefully incorporated into a biodegradable polymer using a special 3D printing technology, and the mixture of ingredients was successfully formulated in a variety of ways. “The basic idea is that the insect repellent continuously evaporates and creates a barrier for the insects,” explains the lead author of the study, Fanfan Du, PhD candidate at MLU.

The rate of evaporation of an insect repellent 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 it will take more than a week for the insect repellent to completely evaporate at 37°C (98.6°F, i.e., body temperature).

Although the researchers have proven that it is entirely possible to develop a wearable insect repellent, the rings and other forms created for the study are only prototypes. Further research is needed to determine how well the rings work under current conditions, Androsch said. The encapsulation material can be further optimized.

Reference: “Poly(l-lactic) 3D printing of a polymer/insect repellent system.”[{” 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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