Though insecticide-treated nets are commonly used to drive away mosquitoes from African homes, the Cornell prototype garment can be worn throughout the day to provide extra protection and does not dissipate easily like skin-based repellants.
Sandy Mattei models a design by Matilda Ceesay, a Cornell apparel design major from Gambia, at the Cornell Fashion Collective Runway Show, April 28.
Credit: Mark Vorreuter
By binding repellant and fabric at the nanolevel using metal organic framework molecules - which are clustered crystalline compounds - the mesh fabric can be loaded with up to three times more insecticide than normal fibrous nets, which usually wear off after about six months.
"The bond on our fabric is very difficult to break," said Frederick Ochanda, postdoctoral associate in Cornell's Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design and a native of Kenya. "The nets in use now are dipped in a solution and not bonded in this way, so their effectiveness doesn't last very long."
The colorful garment, fashioned by Matilda Ceesay, a Cornell apparel design undergraduate from Gambia, debuted on the runway at the Cornell Fashion Collective spring fashion show April 28 on the Cornell campus. It consists of an underlying one-piece body suit, hand-dyed in vibrant hues of purple, gold and blue, and a mesh hood and cape containing the repellant. The outfit is one of six in Ceesay's collection, which she said "explores and modernizes traditional African silhouettes and textiles by embracing the strength and sexuality of the modern woman."
Ochanda and Ceesay, from opposite sides of the continent, both have watched family members suffer from the disease. Ceesay recalls a family member who was ailing and subsequently died after doctors treated her for malaria when she had a different sickness. "It's so common back home, you can't escape it," Ceesay said.
"Seeing malaria's effect on people in Kenya, it's very important for me to apply fiber science to help this problem," Ochanda added. "A long-term goal of science is to be able to come up with solutions to help protect human health and life, so this project is very fulfilling for me."
Ultimately, Ceesay and Ochanda hope the outfit they developed will serve as a prototype to drive new technologies for fighting the spread of malaria. On the horizon, Ochanda said, is a fabric that releases repellant in response to changes in temperature or light – offering wearers more protection at night when mosquitoes are on the hunt. At minimum, they hope the technology can be applied to create longer-lasting insecticide-laden bed nets.
"Although there are already mosquito nets being used, the solution isn't foolproof," Ceesay said. "People are still getting sick and dying. We can't get complacent. I hope my design can show what is possible when you bring together fashion and science and will inspire others to keep improving the technology. If a student at Cornell can do this, imagine how far it could go."
Syl Kacapyr | EurekAlert!
Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices
12.11.2018 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
A new path through the looking-glass
12.11.2018 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding