Professor: Margaret Frey
The proposed work will develop novel hierarchically structured composite nanofiber fabrics that have the intrinsic function of insecticides and/or insect repellant. Currently, an increasing number of events provide anecdotal evidence that climate change is promoting insect driven health issues, including the recent outbreak of the Zika virus as well malaria and dengue fever. Scientific literature indicates that these events will become more prevalent in the future . This is driving a market need for protective garments for public health and environmental safety providers. The object of this work is to develop hierarchically structured composite nanofiber fabrics with insect repellency for protective clothing. In this study, electrospun nylon 6 nanofiber mats with natural insecticide (e.g. neem oil), commercially available nylon tulle, and nylon knit fabrics will be compounded using ultrasonic sewing technology to construct an apparel. The morphology, mechanical properties, and insect repellency efficiency of the composite nanofiber fabrics will be investigated.