DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña (2nd from left) listens as Chicano explains how CocoPatch is being made. (Photo grab from CocoPatch FB)

As in most cases, inventors come up with their innovative ideas in response to a need that they have personally experienced.

In the case of Denver Chicano, the brain behind CocoPatch, the inspiration to develop an alternative wound dressing came from his personal experience as a nurse at the Burn Unit of the Philippine General Hospital.

This experience of having to deal with various cases of burns from mild to worst, coupled with his exposure to nata de coco production while growing up, led Chicano to develop an alternative wound dressing out of coconut called CocoPatch.

The CocoPatch, a natural wound dressing made from the coco-cellulose fiber, has monolaurin, a substance from lauric acid found only in coconut oil and in human breast milk. This was proven to be effective through medical tests as an alternative to other wound dressings. With the retention of skin moisture, the CocoPatch speeds up the natural wound therapeutic process by allowing the skin to repair itself easily.

DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña (in green), DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose Patalinjug III with Denver Chicano (in red) and Dr. Acel Chicano during the DOST visit at the Cocopatch manufacturing site in Valenzuela. (Photo grab from CocPatch FB)

Conceptualized in 2007, the CocoPatch was initially produced manually from formulation to production of five hundred pieces of a wound dressing with different sizes. Through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), the DOST-NCR provided assistance to address challenges on product sterility and comply with the requirements in the acquisition of Licenses to Operate from the Food and Drug Administration.

The product was protected under the Utility Model Registration No. 22007000429. Invention patent protection has also been filled for its large-scale production process. This was also trademarked under the name VEERMAC.

To date, Chicano’s invention has bagged several awards and recognitions, including UP-PGH Recognition; Tatak PGH Nurse Innovator Award; Most Promising Intellectual Property Award by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; First Place, Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons Research Competition; First Place, Philippine College of Surgeons 1st Inventions Competition; Creative Design Category Regional Winner, First Place for LIKHA (Outstanding Creative Research) Category (DOST-NCR) National Invention Contest and Exhibits; and Philippine Green Innovation Product 2014.

At present, CocoPatch is being used by the Philippine Marines and by several pediatric clinics. In addition, the husband and wife team of Denver and Dr. Acel Chicano, who is a surgeon and burn specialist, are conducting surgical missions and free training in Mindanao on proper wound care treatment.

A true inventor at heart, Denver Chicano is currently working on coco-cellulose based spray products and ointments. With this innovative dressing, we can truly say that “Walang dikit, Walang sakit”. (PIA-NCR)