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Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Microencapsulated citronella oil for mosquito repellent finishing of cotton textiles.


PMID 20673937

Abstract

Microcapsules containing citronella essential oil were prepared by complex coacervation and applied to cotton textiles in order to study the repellent efficacy of the obtained fabrics. Citronella released from treated textiles was indirectly monitored by the extractable content of its main components. Repellent activity was assessed by exposure of a human hand and arm covered with the treated textiles to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Fabrics treated with microencapsulated citronella presented a higher and longer lasting protection from insects compared to fabrics sprayed with an ethanol solution of the essential oil, assuring a repellent effect higher than 90% for three weeks. Complex coacervation is a simple, low cost, scalable and reproducible method of obtaining encapsulated essential oils for textile application. Repellent textiles were achieved by padding cotton fabrics with microcapsules slurries using a conventional pad-dry method. This methodology requires no additional investment for textile finishing industries, which is a desirable factor in developing countries.