Brown SRP researchers acquire funding for development of new spin-off PPE technology for infectious disease prevention through mosquito bite inhibition

April 27, 2020

SRP researcher Robert Hurt received external funding to further develop personal protective equipment (PPE) for protection against mosquito-borne infectious diseases.

Brown University SRP research in 2017 demonstrated a graphene-enhanced textile as a breathable toxicant barrier - one that protects against chemical vapors in the environment while simultaneously allowing user perspiration necessary for body temperature regulation [Steinberg R, Cruz M, Mahfouz NG, Qui Y, Hurt RH. 2017. Breathable vapor toxicant barriers based on multilayer graphene oxide. ACS Nano. 11:5670-5679.].  A spin-off from that SRP finding showed that graphene films act as chemical barriers to prevent mosquito bites by preventing host chemosensing through a molecular barrier effect [Castilho CJ, Li D, Liu M, Liu Y, Gao H, Hurt RH. 2019. Mosquito bite prevention through graphene barrier layers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.]. 

The new grant from the IBES institute will explore the mechanistic connection between graphene layers in textile, and the bioavailability to mosquito attractants in human sweat through collaboration by Hurt and Brown faculty member Kurt Pennell.