December 4, 2023


Healthy Always

Automated Feeding Platform to Research Mosquito Illness Transmission

2 min read

A crew at Rice College has developed an automatic feeding platform for mosquitoes that enables researchers to check various kinds of repellent and examine mosquito-borne illness transmission. Historically, such mosquito analysis would require human volunteers or animal topics for the mosquitos to feed on, however that is clearly inconvenient and slightly distasteful. This new system dispenses with the necessity for human volunteers and related laborious knowledge assortment and evaluation. The expertise consists of 3D printed artificial pores and skin with actual blood that flows by way of small vessels. Mosquitos can feed by way of the pores and skin and are stored in place in a surrounding field, which additionally comprises mounted cameras that report the entire course of. Machine studying algorithms then interpret the ensuing video footage, offering a wide range of knowledge together with chunk quantity and length.

Dengue, yellow fever, and malaria: what do all of them have in frequent? The pesky mosquito. Nonetheless, whereas this flying offender is well-known, learning the method of illness transmission intimately and creating new methods to discourage mosquitos from biting within the first place will be tough. At current, many researchers are pressured to make use of animal topics or human volunteers who’re prepared to sit down for lengthy durations whereas mosquitoes feast on their blood. That is clearly not supreme, and requires lengthy durations of statement and knowledge evaluation.   

To handle these limitations, these researchers have created an artificial and automatic different. This consists of 3D printed hydrogel constructs that act as artificial pores and skin. These buildings comprise synthetic blood vessels by way of which the researchers can flow into actual human blood. A clear field across the hydrogel patches retains dwell mosquitos in place above, permitting them to land and feed. Cameras mounted within the field report the exercise, after which the researchers use machine studying algorithms to research the footage.

“It supplies a constant and managed technique of statement,” mentioned Omid Veiseh, a researcher concerned within the examine. “The hope is researchers will be capable of use that to determine methods to stop the unfold of illness sooner or later.”

To date, the researchers have used the system to check varied mosquito repellents, however the expertise may additionally let researchers to research mosquito-mediated illness transmission in additional element. “We’re utilizing the system to look at virus transmission throughout blood feeding,” mentioned Daybreak Wesson, one other researcher concerned within the examine. “We have an interest each in how viruses get taken up by uninfected mosquitoes and the way viruses get deposited, together with saliva, by contaminated mosquitoes. If we had a greater understanding of the wonderful mechanics and proteins and different molecules which can be concerned, we would be capable of develop some technique of interfering in these processes.”

See a video in regards to the system under:

Research in journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology: Development of an automated biomaterial platform to study mosquito feeding behavior

By way of: Rice University

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