GWIIN PR and communications contact:
Deborah Fields, Head of Communications for GWIIN at firstname.lastname@example.org
7 June 2016
Invention sheds light on solution to mosquito spread diseases
Images of men, women and children who are affected by outbreaks of different diseases such as Malaria or the Zika virus reach our television, mobile or computer screens on a regular basis. We are often shocked by how one disease can devastate so many people.
However, it is not often that we get up and try to find a solution to help. Melodie McKenzie-Jones took the unusual step of attempting to do something about the insidious malaria disease after seeing images of children suffering from the virus on a television documentary. She decided to look into the possibility of utilising the unexploited energy of a standard lightbulb to thermally release an insecticide that would render the mosquitoes, which carry the malaria virus, unable to bite humans to transmit the malaria virus.
As most of us are aware, Malaria is a life-threatening disease which has symptoms of fever, chills, vomiting and headache in an affected person. The first 24 hours are critical in preventing it developing into a serious illness with the possibility of death. But what many people are not aware of is that approximately 3.2 billion people in 2015 were at risk from the debilitating disease in regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Melodie says: “The driving force for developing the product was watching the terrible images on a television documentary of, specifically, babies falling ill and dying from malaria.”
Researching and developing an innovation were uncharted territory for Melodie whose background lies in importing/exporting and sales. She is not a scientist, medic or engineer but managed to develop the product Vapalight, renamed as Scentrel which thermally evaporated the organic insecticide pyrethrum.
“The concept came to me in a classic Heath Robinson way when pottering around in the shed! With the broadcast about the flies bothering me I recognised that it may be possible to thermally evaporate an insecticide via the heat of the lightbulb to impact on the flies and, ultimately, mosquitoes.”
Melodie spent two years researching and developing a prototype, investing a considerable amount of her own money into the project and then took her concept through DEFRA accredited laboratory studies. She also navigated the regulatory steps with the Health & Safety Executive and European Union Registration Directives that ensure safe usage and patterns of use for insecticides. Melodie also employed a patent attorney to ensure there were no other similar products patented and applied for a patent.
The Scentrel product and insecticide pyrethrum have been worldwide independently verified to be safe to use around pregnant women, babies, children and adult humans. However, Scentrel’s product has a kill rate of 90% against the ades agypti mosquitoes and a 79% repellence against house flies.
With the support of the Welsh Development Agency, Melodie entered the British Female Inventor of the Year awards in 2009 run by the Global Women’s Inventors & Innovators Network(GWIIN) and became a finalist in the competition with the lightbulb model. GWIIN aims to support women across the world in developing their ideas and inventions to take them to market. The event helped kick-start her ambitions to get the product to the people she designed it for as it was then trialled by the United Nations.
However, Melodie is keen that the new SIRC candle product, which is more appropriate to second and third world settings than a light bulb because of power surges, be further developed. She wants it to be supported on a larger scale than she is individually capable of, by a socially conscious company or a charity.
Melodie has now fully developed and registered the Scentrel, SIRC candle model with the UK-HSE and EU Biocides Regulatory Directive and registered the design with her patent attorneys. With another mosquito borne disease, the Zika virus, which may be linked to microcephaly in babies and affecting so many people, Melodie feels that now is an appropriate time to step forward into the market with her new organic insecticide candle model which she hopes will make her original objective of making a difference to those less fortunate and, possibly, help to save lives.
As Melodie says: “If the product saves only one life then all the problems, time and effort will have been worth it”.
For more information, please contact Deborah Fields, Head of Communications at GWIIN at email@example.com
15 October 2015
Luisa Torsi’s printable biological sensor wins European Woman Inventor of the Year Award 2015
Luisa Torsi, the inventor of a ground-breaking electronic circuit which can be printed on plastic or paper to become a biological sensor, has won the European Woman Inventor of the Year 2015 award, the top honour at an awards event organised by the European Women Inventors & Innovators Network (EUWIIN). Other winners were also announced for other categories. Judges chose the pioneering medical breakthrough of Luisa Torsi, from Italy, which is low-cost, disposable, non-invasive and outperforms other biological sensing technology.
She received her award at the European Women Inventor and Innovation Network Awards 2015 at the British Library last night (Wednesday, 14 October). The event was organised by the Global Women's Inventors & Innovators Network to promote invention and innovation by women. Luisa, an academic from the University of Bari Aldo Moro, said her invention would revolutionise point of care diagnostics. She said: “Nowadays, if you run a blood strip test, you have to assess the output through an analysis in a laboratory or clinic. “With this device you can skip that step because the quality of the data is immediately good enough to use for diagnostic purposes. “On top of all this, it has the potential of being non-invasive because saliva can be used instead of blood serum and the circuit can detect very low concentrations of bio-markers.”
One of the judges, CIPA Council member Vicki Salmon, said: “Luisa has a platform technology which can be developed into practice that could revolutionise life for GPs and patients.”
Other women inventors received awards for their inventions and innovations in other categories:
The EUWIIN Innovator of the Year 2015
Fariba Khandarian for FaribaTec, a system for purifying waste water from industrial processes.
The winner of an International Award 2015
Roselove Frempong for Asmisol, a product that stimulates wound healing
The winner of an International Award 2015:
Dr Noorhafiza Muhammad for Laser Manufactured Coronary Stents
The winner of the Under 25 Platinum Award:
Nor Hamiza Hanis Bt Tan Tawi for Gelatine made from plants
The winner of the Under 25 gold award:
Hsieh, Hsin-Chieh for The Magnetic Eraser
The winner of the Under 25 Silver Award:
Huang,Yu-Hsiang for The Elevating Closet
The winner of the Research & Product Development Award:
Dr Albini Adriana for the Antiangiogenic use of liquid phytocomplexes from olives
The winner of the Social Innovation & Capacity Building award:
Sari Jääskeläinen & Pia Kiviharju for Seniori365, an internet wellbeing service for senior citizens and their caregivers
The winner of the Exceptional Creativity award:
Ylva Dalén for Hoppolek, a medical device for play and mobility and Movego, a mobility aid
The awards were the culmination of a two-day event which attracted delegates from across Europe and around the world, featuring an exhibition of inventions at Regents University on Tuesday and a conference at the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). Full awards results below.
For more information about the EUWIIN organisation or to speak to the founder and organiser Dr Bola Olabisi, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.euwiininternational.eu. Also follow EUWIIN25 on Twitter.
EUWIIN which is the European part of GWIIN aims to promote the inventions and innovations of entrepreneurial women across Europe. The network addresses the gap of women in science, engineering and technology professions and provides support for women across a variety of sectors to help them find the help and resources to take their products to market.