22 | ENE | 2019
Mexican scientists develop antiseptic from hibiscus flower
Hibiscus flower – Photo: Courtesy

Mexican scientists develop antiseptic from hibiscus flower

Mexico City
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Baja California scientists combine nanotechnology and green synthesis to develop this natural disinfectant

Bacteria, virus, parasites, and fungi are microorganisms which can be found at hospitals and the culprits behind infections, reason why Mexican scientists have created a disinfectant based on hibiscus flower extract.

Scientists from the Engineering Institute of the Autonomous University of Baja California in partnership with company Industrias Bioquim, have developed this natural antiseptic.

Previous scientific studies had already showed the potential of the hibiscus flower in the elimination of microbes. Comparing extracts of hibiscus flower water, acetone, methanol, ethyl acetate and other disinfectants, hibiscus flower registered almost double the effectiveness in eliminating harmful microorganisms.

The development of this antiseptic combined the use of nanotechnology, microencapsulation, and green synthesis.

During an interview with the news agency of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), researcher Benjamín Valdéz Salas talked about how their first step was to synthesize copper and silver nanoparticles to then microencapsulate them.

“Once we had the microspheres we developed the disinfectant and we tested it in vitro at the lab with different samples of bacteria and fungi, and then [we tested it] at hospitals, which gave us the expected results regarding the control of these microorganisms,” he said.

Talking about microcapsules, Valdéz points out that due to the green synthesis, the product has an extended action period.

“It's like a ball with several layers; each layer disintegrates little by little, and they are natural in origin, so they biodegrade or dissolve and release the nanoparticulated component which serves as a germicide,” detailed the scientist.

He added that another of the advantages of the compound is that it minimizes its impact on other live organisms, reducing the possibility of side-effects in human beings.

For his part, CEO of Industrias Bioquim, José Ángel Zaizar Prado, stated that this disinfectant has several advantages over similar products already available in the market.

Unlike chlorine – one of the most-used chemicals used as a disinfectant – Zaizar Prado explained the product developed by the team doesn't damage furniture, paintings, or floors and it eliminates harmful microorganisms.

“We're attacking something natural with a [product] 100% natural,” he said, stressing that they are in the process of registering the patent to market the product.


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