Tick repellent multifunctional protective textile materials
- Tickotex -

The main objective of the project is the development of novel multifunctional textile structures that include biological active compounds extracted from plants, to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases like Borreliosisand other tick-borne bacterial diseases. The natural compounds will be encapsulated into polymeric matrices to extend their repellency over a long time exposure and provide a controlled release of active compounds.

To achieve the proposed target, the following S&T objectives will be pursued:

1. Preparation of new biologically active compounds, effective against Ixodesspecies as a real alternative to currently used insecticides characterized by high toxicity and low efficiency against ticks. We expect that these low cost extracts (based on blends of different vegetable materials, avoiding the high cost of accurate separation of expensive components) will contribute to significantly reduce the cost of the preparations, fostering their usage in several applications. One of the main innovations of the project will be  the development of a technology to extract, blend and mix components compatibly  based on continuous extraction of complex plants  eventual assisted by CO2 in supercritical conditions.

2. Development of cost-effective, reproducible and easily up-scalable encapsulation system  to active activecompounds. The main innovation will  enable controlled release of active compounds to increase the efficacy of the chemical repellent  against ticks without having to increase their concentrations, thus preventing the toxic effect of molecules on humans.

3. Development of new applications for embedding microcapsules on textile surfaces ensuring flexible, uniform, breathable and long lasting repellent coating layers.

4. Repellency evaluation: repellency bioassay to determine the most promissory compounds and repellent textiles based on ticks mortality. Duration of repellency will be assessed at wearing, rubbing, perspiration and washing and compared with the repellency of textiles impregnated with citronella and N,N'-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (Deet).

5. Validation of the technologies at lab and industrial scale. This objective includes both the validation of the developed functions in the different product concepts as well as the development of different required test methods which do not yet exist.