“Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Spray” and “Pet Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract” – Two Nano Innovations from CUVET

“Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Spray” and “Pet Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract” – Two Nano Innovations from CUVET

Researchers of the Biochemistry Unit, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET) have developed “Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Spray” and “Pet Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract” by applying nanotechnology to pet products to enhance their potency. Certifiably safe, both products are now available through a CUVET startup company.

A stinky puppy or a cat losing its fur from self-grooming can be a sign of an allergic reaction to dust mites or bacteria harbored on the skin of our four-legged friends. There are many solutions, but one of the most popular is the use of products such as dust mite repellent spray, bath spray, pet deodorizer, etc., which are available in many brands on the market.   But how effective and safe are these products for our beloved pets?

This question sparked an interest in the researchers from the Biochemistry Unit, CUVET to research and develop “Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Spray” and “Pet Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract” by using nanotechnology to enhance product performance. Guaranteed as the best innovation with the gold medal and two special awards from the 13th International Innovation Competition 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Nano dust mites repellent herbal spray offers 100 percent protection and is completely safe for both animals and people. Not only humans, but also pets such as dogs and cats are allergic to dust mites.  Common allergy symptoms are such as itching, tears, and purulent skin, or if the pet has severe allergic reactions, this can result in death.

“Dust mites” are tiny organisms invisible to the naked eye. They are mixed in the air inside the house, on mattresses, pillows, blankets, sofas, etc. There are many ways to remove dust mites, such as washing and drying them in the sun or using a dryer at 60 degrees Celsius or above. When cleaning the house, a vacuum cleaner can only remove dust mites on surfaces, so the dust mites repellent herbal spray is a popular choice for consumers because it is easy and less energy-consuming.

However, the dust mites repellent herbal sprays available on the market are alcohol-based sprays, so they have a pungent odor and evaporate quickly, are short-lived, and are wasteful. So, the CUVET research team has come up with an innovation to eliminate such weaknesses with nanotechnology.

Head of the Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Development Project, Ms. Nanthida Kunnasut, Scientific Service Officer, Biochemistry Unit, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, explains that “our products are made from three herbs: cloves, cinnamon, and lemongrass. They smell good and remove dust mites effectively. We use nanoparticles to encapsulate the herbs, allowing the alcohol to be more water-soluble.  This allows the product to work for up to 7-8 hours. Since we do not have to spray directly on the pets, the chances of allergic reactions are very low.”

“The nano dust-mite repellent herbal spray is easy to use. Just spray on the surface of mattresses, pillows, mosquito nets, sofas, furniture, floor, carpets and pet sleeping cushions once a week,” Ms. Nantida added.

Dr. Teerapong Yata, Assistant Dean of CUVET Enterprise, and innovation research and development consultant explained that the product development process consists of 3 main steps, starting from the preparation of herbal extracts, encapsulation of herbal extracts with nanoparticles using a system called nanostructured lipid carriers, and finally, the analysis of nanotechnology properties. After the completion of the third step, the research team sent the product for testing and analysis at Siriraj Dust Mite Center for Services and Research (SDMC).

“Our dust mites repellent nano herbal spray removes 100% of dust mites within 24 hours. Every ingredient is cosmetic grade, so it is safe for people and animals, and hypoallergenic to the skin. Those who have tried our product are satisfied and do not report any allergic reactions,” Dr. Teerapong revealed the results of the product performance test.

At present, the research team has transferred the production technology of dust mite spray to OEM company, which is a CUVET start-up for commercial production and distribution. In the future, moreover, there are plans to develop other insect-repellent products that disturb pets, such as bed bugs, fleas, and ticks.

Eliminate odor and nourish pet hair with nano-spray from mangosteen peel extract

Apart from pet skin problems and allergic reactions caused by dust mites, “malodor” is another problem that equally bothers pet owners. The malodor caused by bacteria on the skin can occur every day. If left for a long time, it may cause the pet to develop skin diseases. Bathing and cleaning are one way to suppress the malodor in pets. However, it should not be done too often (more than 1 – 2 times a week) because it will cause the pet’s skin to go dry and develop skin diseases.

This challenge sparked an idea for Ms. Sujin Sirisawadi, a specialized scientist from the Biochemistry Unit, CUVET, the head of the Nano Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract Development Project to develop an innovative product that helps to inhibit the bacteria that cause unpleasant odors in pets.

“This product uses nano extracts from mangosteen peel to help eliminate odors and nourish the skin. It is also effective in inhibiting fungi and bacteria while healing skin inflammation as well.  The spray can be absorbed well into the skin, is free of chemicals, has a long-lasting fragrance, and is safe for people and pets,” Ms. Sujin revealed the innovations’ highlight.

Dr. Teerapong said that the Nano Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract has been researched and tested to become a prototype product through a process that began with the study of mangosteen extract called Alpha-Mangosteen in the form of nanotechnology, test for its antibacterial property, and then was tested with pets. It received good feedback.  No allergic reaction or irritation in pets has been reported.

“When sprayed on pets, the nanoparticles used to encapsulate the mangosteen extract will enhance its potency and absorption into the skin to help inhibit bacteria. In addition, the raw materials used in the spray have been selected as highly safe, and alcohol-free, so it does not dry the pets’ skin, nor harm them when they lick their hair.”

In addition to dogs and cats, in the future, the researchers plan to expand this research to include applications to other pets, such as rabbits, and beautiful birds, as well as to develop other forms of products, such as deodorizing shampoo for pets from mangosteen peel extract.

The “Dust Mites Repellent Herbal Spray” and “Pet Fragrance Spray from Mangosteen Peel Extract” research has received funding support from the Routine to Research (R2R) Grant and are distributed by VBC Kittec Co., Ltd., a start-up company of Biochemistry Unit, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University.


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