Novel polymeric micelles for insect pest control: encapsulation of essential oil monoterpenes inside a triblock copolymer shell for head lice control

Created on 07.05.17

A new study has investigated the pediculicidal activity of micellar systems containing a 5 wt% of poloxamer 407 and 1.25 wt% of the different monoterpenes using an ex vivo immersion test and revealed that aqueous formulations are effective against head lice with mortality ranging from 30 to 60%.

The study by Lucia published in the April 2017 PeerJ Journal suggests that it is possible to make stable micellar systems containing water (>90 wt%), 1.25 wt% of different monoterpenes and a highly safe polymer (5wt% Poloxamer 407). During the investigation, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) experiments were carried out to characterize the dispersion of the Essential Oil Components in water. The poloxamers allowed the dispersion of EOCs in water due to their encapsulation inside the hydrophobic core of the copolymer micelles.

The findings suggest that aqueous formulations show good pediculicidal activity and high physicochemical stability and that the most effective formulations were emulsions containing linalool, 1,8-cineole, α-terpineol, thymol, eugenol, geraniol and nonyl alcohol which lead to mortalities above 50%.

The findings from the study seem to suggest that in the development of platforms used in pest control, aqueous formulations could be a new route for green fabrication of biocompatible and biosustainable insecticide formulations

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