Report by Anggi Kusuma Putri
[Unpad Media Channel] Almost everyone, especially in Indonesia, has experienced the discomfort of suffering from a mouth ulcer. The particularly distressing sting is usually left alone until the ulcer heals by itself. However, many people also choose to undergo therapy using chemical drugs, which will undoubtedly cause side effects with long-term use.
This motivated an Unpad Professor of pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology, Prof. apt. Nasrul Wathoni, S.Si., M.Si., Ph.D, to develop a method of therapy for mouth ulcers using natural ingredients in the form of safe-to-use adhesive bandages. Not only is it safe, the innovative product can also help quicken the recovery of mouth ulcers.
His development of the bandages for treating mouth ulcers, named Ulceosan, was funded by the Matching Fund Kedaireka grant. In its development, Prof. Nasrul and his team collaborated with PT Lunaray Cahaya Abadi.
Innovation in Bandages
“The innovation lies in us making an adhesive bandage for the oral mucosa. The bandages are biopolymer-based and we chose alginate and chitosan, which can cover the wound and are biodegradable,” said Prof. Nasrul.
Aside from offering advantages, such as the product’s safety and lack of side effects, the bandages can act as a substitute for expensive imported products. Prof. Nasrul explained that this product is 4 times cheaper compared to imported ones already on the market.
“The ulcer bandages we made are substitutes for those made in Japan and South Korea, with its locally sourced base ingredients, it is surely more affordable for people,” said Prof. Nasrul.
Prof. Nasrul, with his background in formulation technology, also invented an alginate and chitosan-based hydrogel film to be used as a medical device.
Besides its abundant supply in Indonesia, the two components were chosen to strengthen the mechanical properties of the resulting hydrogel film, so the bandages would not dissolve in water or break when used.
Prof. Nasrul explained that the hydrogel film is different from other bandages commonly used on the surface of the body. This innovation resulting from his research, which is currently in the process of diffusion, can dissolve by itself in the wound.
“This is one product of our research which we are currently diffusing. It is hydrogel film-based, somewhat like an adhesive bandage. This hydrogel film is different from the usual bandages used on the outside of the body, this bandage can dissolve inside of the wound,” said Prof. Nasrul.
Currently, research on the ulcer bandage has gone through a lengthy process of testing and has been published in several renowned international journals. The first phase was evaluating formulae and testing the psychochemical properties of the hydrogel film used. The second phase was pre-clinical trials of its efficacy on wounds on the tongue and mucosa of mice. The last phase of testing done on the product was a clinical trial.
“The requirements include testing its pharmacodynamic properties, with preclinical trials on mice, we have gone through those stages. So everything is in place, hopefully, we can get the license to sell soon,” said Prof. Nasrul.
Not only Ulceosan, Prof. Nasrul and his team also developed Ulceostin which contains alpha-Mangostin. However, it is still a prototype and going through clinical trials.
Aside from that, Prof. Nasrul also hoped his inventions could be improved upon by adding active ingredients which are effective in accelerating wound healing.
“Not only as a base, it should also contain alpha-Mangostin in the future. Hopefully, the process could be quicker by using alpha-Mangostin for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its antioxidants providing antibacterial properties which can accelerate wound healing. But, the first product we are going to market only has it as a base,” he explained.
Another current product of Prof. Nasrul and his team which is going through research is the propolis Nano Spray for treating acne. The propolis-based product is still in the early stages of research and has already gotten funding from a grant, courtesy of BRIN.
Furthermore, Prof. Nasrul also said that, for his bandages, he is still in the process of applying for a license to sell the medical device. He hoped the product could be sold in the market by the middle of 2024.
Prof. Nasrul also expressed his aspiration for his product to be released soon and be accepted by the general population.
“My wish is that this could be accepted by the public, and those who suffer from mouth ulcers could use this as a solution because it does not sting and effectively treats ulcers,” he concluded. (arm/ICP)*