Spanish technical research centre, Aimplas, is working with Inesfly Corporation, a specialist in micro-encapsulation technology, along with academic researchers, to develop a way to create insecticide plastics that could help prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria.
The partners are creating a new generation of foamed plastics that have insecticide properties for use in the manufacture of mats, as well as the soles of sandals, to repel insects that transmit diseases as part of a project called ‘Inmaplesp’.
Researchers were able to expand upon insecticide substances in filler already used in plastics like mosquito nets and collars for animals. Instead, by using microcapsules, they are looking to incorporate the insecticide into other plastics and prevent the insecticide substance from its possible degradation.
Inesfly’s micro-encapsulation technology had initial success in the field of insecticide paints. It is now expanding the technology to different plastic matrixes by developing microcapsules of different active ingredients with repellent and insecticide properties.
The foamed plastic the partners hope to develop achieved would be used when manufacturing products such as soles of sandals and mats that repel mosquitoes and crawling insects like those that transmit diseases in Equatorial Africa, Central America and South America countries. However, they say its application would be also useful in Europe, where the effects of the climate change is causing the occurrence of plagues of subtropical species, such as tiger mosquito, in countries like Spain.
The project lasts 24 months and is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness.