THAILAND – The National Nanotechnology Centre (Nanotec) yesterday unveiled its latest invention, a nanofibre net that can kill malariacarrying mosquitoes within six minutes of their contact with it.
Nanotec director Sirireuk Songsiriwilai said the net fibre was coated with a herbal-like synthetic substance – whose durability to stick on the net was enhanced by nanotechnology.
This made its mosquito killing power last longer than other fibre-coated mosquito nets, whose efficiency faded and vanished after three washes. The synthetic substance affected the mosquitoes’ nervous system, causing them to fly slow and, in the case of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, drop dead in six minutes, he said. The survival time varied among types of mosquito.
The research development, made jointly between the textile and mosquito net exporting industries, included the coating of substances like chrysanthemum and marigold onto cotton fibre and the new fibre creation to increase its effectiveness fivefold.
Science and Technology Minister Virachai Virameteekul said this technology to coat textiles with mosquito-killing substances could also be applied to soldiers’ uniforms to prevent malaria, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases. Such coated textiles would be more expensive, but the efficiency made it worthwhile, he said.
It would take another year before the technology was adopted industrially, pending further testing and formula development, he said.