The Rural Development Administration (RDA) has pioneered technology to make cosmetics and medicines based on substances found in insects.
The organization successfully discovered antimicrobial peptides in Copris tripartitus beetles and in scolopendrid millipedes, substances widely used as antibiotics. The insects excrete the substances in order to protect themselves from harmful germs.
In the study, antimicrobial peptides from the beetles showed antibacterial activities against oral germs, botrymycosis and acne bacteria. Using the peptides, the RDA developed its “Coprisin Cosmetics” make-up line. Since the substances also show excellent antibacterial effects against acute colitis, efforts are currently being made to convert them into a medicine for curing enteritis.
The administration also found that scolopendride millipedes have antimicrobial peptides that are effective in curing eczema.
“If the drug is proven effective in humans after clinical trials, it would work better than other existing drugs,” said RDA researcher Hwang Jae-sam.
Silkworm cocoons can also be used for medicinal purposes. The RDA has developed silk plasters that use the cocoon of a silkworm. The new patches are designed to help restore the broken eardrum to its previous condition. The fine and smooth spots promote the reproductive effects of the skin.