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Investigation of inclusion complexes of citronella oil, citronellal and citronellol with β-cyclodextrin for mosquito repellent


The aim of this study was to prepare the inclusion complexes of citronella oil, citronellal or citronellol with β-cyclodextrin and evaluate their physicochemical properties using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). A kneading method was employed to prepare the inclusion complexes and weight ratios of each of the active substance to β-cyclodextrin were 1:1 (1:1 CPX) and 1:2 (1:2 CPX). For comparison purposes, physical mixtures of these active compounds and β-cyclodextrin were also prepared and investigated. Unlike the physical mixtures, the SEM technique revealed drastic changes in the shapes and morphologies of the particles for the inclusion complexes. Furthermore, the FTIR and DSC results seemed to reveal some interactions between the active substance and β-cyclodextrin. The o/w lotions, which contained 10% w/w citronella oil (normal citronella oil; 1:1 CPX or 1:2 CPX), were formulated using Cremophors as emulsifiers. With modified Franz diffusion cell and synthetic membrane, the release rates of citronella oil from the lotions containing the inclusion complexes were significantly lower than that from the prepared lotion containing normal citronella oil. The mosquito (Aedes aegypti) repellent efficacy of the lotions containing citronella oil, citronellal or citronellol (both normal and inclusion complexes) was further evaluated by human-bait technique. The highest mosquito repellent activity was observed in the formulation which contained citronella oil–β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex at weight ratio of 1:1.

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The authors are indebted to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, for financial support, facilities and contributions. For the mosquito repellency testing, the authors wish to thank Dr. Usavadee Thavara from the National Institute of Health, Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

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Correspondence to Sarunyoo Songkro.

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Songkro, S., Hayook, N., Jaisawang, J. et al. Investigation of inclusion complexes of citronella oil, citronellal and citronellol with β-cyclodextrin for mosquito repellent. J Incl Phenom Macrocycl Chem 72, 339–355 (2012).

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  • Citronella oil
  • Citronellal
  • Citronellol
  • β-Cyclodextrin
  • Inclusion complex
  • Mosquito repellent