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

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

Topic(s) study pertains to

Essential Oils

Place of study

1. Centro de Investigaciones de Plagas e Insecticidas (UNIDEF-CONICET), Villa Martelli, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2. Departamento de Química Física, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, España, 3. Instituto Pluridisciplinar, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, España

Name of Scientist

  • Alejandro Lucia
  • Ariel Ceferino Toloza
  • Eduardo Guzman
  • Francisco Ortega
  • Ramon G. Rubio

Abstract

Background

Essential oil components (EOCs) are molecules with interesting application in pest control, these have been evaluated against different insect pest from more than 100 years, but their practical use is rather limited. Thus, the enhancement of their bioavailability and manageability due to their dispersion in water can open new perspective for the preparation of formulations for the control of insect pest. In this work, we studied the encapsulation of different monoterpenes in a poloxamer shell in order to prepare aqueous formulations that can be used for the development of platforms used in pest control.

Methods

Micellar systems containing a 5 wt% of poloxamer 407 and 1.25 wt% of the different monoterpenes were prepared. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) experiments were carried out to characterize the dispersion of the EOCs in water. The pediculicidal activity of these micellar systems was tested on head lice using an ex vivo immersion test.

Results

The poloxamers allowed the dispersion of EOCs in water due to their encapsulation inside the hydrophobic core of the copolymer micelles. From this study, we concluded 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). These formulations were effective against head lice with mortality ranging from 30 to 60%, being the most effective emulsions those containing linalool, 1,8-cineole, α-terpineol, thymol, eugenol, geraniol and nonyl alcohol which lead to mortalities above 50%.

Discussion

Since these systems showed good pediculicidal activity and high physicochemical stability, they could be a new route for the green fabrication of biocompatible and biosustainable insecticide formulations.

Keywords: Encapsulation, Monoterpenes, Head lice, Polymer- based nanomicelles, Poloxamers
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