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Industrial Impact

Development of hair removal product derived from Licorice extract

Project undertaken by: Greater Pharma Co., Ltd.

Partner: Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science

About research: Although the growth of unwanted hair or hirsutism is a harmless condition, many people find it bothersome and embarrassing. Maintaining stem cell features of dermal papilla cells is a critical biological process that maintains the high rate of hair growth. Therefore, a decreased stemness of dermal papilla cells leads to impaired hair growth.


This research aimed to explore the effect of Licorice extract and glycyrrhizic acid (its main component) on the stemness of dermal papilla cells that were isolated from human root hair. This research demonstrated that Licorice extract significantly depressed the stemness of dermal papilla cells. Clonogenicity and stem cell markers in Licorice extract-treated cells were found to gradually decrease in culture such as CD133, ALDH1A1 and integrinβ1. The results demonstrated that Licorice extract suppressed stem cell effects through the interruption of the ATP-dependent tyrosine kinase/glycogen synthase kinase3β-dependent mechanism, which in turn down-regulated the β-catenin signaling pathway, coupled with decreasing its down-stream epithelial-mesenchymal transition and self-renewal transcription factors, namely, Oct4, Nanog and Sox2. The same results were obtained with glycyrrhizic acid. This research provided the evidence supporting the use of Licorice or glycyrrhizic acid in suppressing the growth of unwanted hair and, in addition, to increase the value of herbs and promote glycyrrhizic acid production in the industrial sector.

High pressure treated coconut water and determination of its shelf life

Partner: Eastern Pioneer Sales and Services Co., Ltd., Bangkok

About research: This purpose of this project was to investigate changes in high pressure pasteurized coconut water during 25 weeks’ storage at chilled temperatures, and predict the shelf life of the product. The results of this study showed that the microbial quality of high-pressure pasteurized coconut water conformed with the Community Product Standards No. 340/20047 during storage at 4 and 8 ° C for 25 weeks. The total acid content and reducing sugar content remained rather constant throughout storage. The most obvious change was the color and total phenolic compounds. At 8 °C, a light pink color was observed at week 4, while at 4 °C, the color was detected later at week 7. When predicting the shelf-life using the color change, the product had a shelf-life of 7.6 weeks at 3 °C, 7.0 weeks at 4 °C, 6.5 weeks at 5 °C, 5.1 weeks at 8 °C and 4.4 weeks at 10 °C.

Alcoholic Beverages Manufacturing Industry the ASEAN Countries and Its Impacts on Thailand

Project undertaken by: Center of Excellence for Mekong Studies, Institute of Asian Studies

Partner: Ministry of Health of Laos PDR

About research: “Alcoholic Beverages Manufacturing Industries in ASEAN Countries and Their Impact on Thailand” has the two primary objectives of (i) to study the ASEAN regional policies and regulations that may impact the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Thailand and (ii) to study the policies and policy directions of the alcoholic beverages manufacturing industries in the region and some ASEAN countries with a production base and expansion of production potential that may also have an impact on the market and the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Thailand as an ASEAN member state. The focus of this research is beer, a popular, convenient and widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the countries studied are Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.


The research is conducted from various sources, that are categorized as: (i) secondary sources, such as WHO’s import and export statistics of alcoholic beverages, tax statistics, regulations, requirements and alcohol policies in the countries studied and the research on alcoholic beverage industry from both public and private sectors both in the country and abroad; (ii) primary sources, such as interviews with key informants from both the public and private sectors and doing field work to observe the consummation of alcoholic beverages in both Thailand and the countries studied.


The result revealed that Southeast Asia has been an investment region for the alcoholic beverage industry, especially for international beer manufacturers, for a long time. At present, the international manufacturers are more interested in investing in beer production in the region because of the potential growth in the consumer market and beer consumption in these countries, chiefly in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar with their increasing economic growth. The international manufacturers are also hoping to benefit from the ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) and expand their consumer markets throughout the region as well as benefiting from state policies, such as in Cambodia that supports investment in the beer industry in the country because the industry produces a large amount of profit for the state. As for Thailand, it has continued as an important export base in the region for Singapore for a very long time with the potential for increasing market growth, especially for premium beer products. Thailand is also an export base for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. However, because of these neighboring countries’ close geographic proximity to Thailand, they support the beer production and consumption of their own countries’ products as well as starting to distribute small quantities of their domestic beer products into Thailand’s market.

Development of a network of excellence in electroplating

Partner: Various clusters in the electroplating industry, including automotive components, jewelry and sanitary.

About research:  Investigate the needs of, and develop a framework to improve, the electroplating industry in Thailand through triple-helix collaboration in the area of human-resource training and research.


Partner: Waiting for up-scale production and commercialization

About research: Fruitorin is a condiment in the same category as mirin, the rice wine used as a condiment in Japanese cuisine. However, Fruitorin is produced via fruit juice fermentation, and this allows for a greater variety and formulations to be produced than rice wines like mirin. The products can be used as cooking wine, salad dressing, flavor enhancer and food coloring in many savory dishes and desserts. Moreover, specific Fruitorin formulations can be used to marinate meats, where it functions as a meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer. Since the raw materials of these products are diverse and abundant and the processing technology is relatively simplified, then new products in this production line can be continuously developed. For further information, please contact Assoc. Prof. Cheunjit Prakitchaiwattana (

Development of cooked rice in a retort pouch

Partner: K.C. Rungruang Rice Mill Co., Ltd., Khon Khaen Province

About research: This project was initiated based on the demand for new product development by K.C. Rungruang Rice Mill Co., Ltd., which is a large manufacturer and exporter of jasmine rice in the Northeast, and is located in Khon Kaen. Presently, the company produces up to 800 tons of rice per day with a rice quality adjusting facility of a capacity of 500 tons per day. The company’s products are available in leading department stores, such as Tesco Lotus and Tops as well as other stores nationwide, and leading superstores in other countries. The company has the concept to develop shelf-stable ready-to-eat cooked rice in order to add value to the rice and to offer an alternative product for consumers. This project yields the optimum conditions to prepare the rice and produce four types of shelf-stable ready-to-eat cooked rice (Jasmine 105 rice, Jasmine 105 brown rice, fragrant red rice and fragrant black rice). The products can last for up to 1 year without refrigeration.

Separation of enantiomer from pharmaceutical wastewater via a hollow fiber supported liquid membrane

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University




Technology platform establishment in lactic acid fermentation for the bioplastic industry

Project undertaken by: The Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited

About research: The Pilot Scale Fermentation Group has a strong research collaboration with the PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited since 2009 to establish an industrial fermentation platform to produce lactic acid as the feedstock in bioplastic (Polylactic acid; PLA) industry. We have isolated and modified bacteria specifically producing lactic acid. Compared to known industrial strains, our bacterial isolate is one of the world’s best strains since it yields a high lactate productivity and is suitable for industrial fermentation. Moreover, we have also established the fermentation platform that is viable from the laboratory scale towards industrial production, being established so far at pilot scale fermentation. Collaboration between our group and the company involves research agreement, licensing, university-industrial linkage program, technology transfer and technology validation.


Copper conductive pattern fabrication by low temperature spray pyrolysis of a copper complex ink

Project undertaken by: Assoc. Prof. Soorathep Kheawhom

Partner: Petrochemical industry (Upstream process)

About research: A facile and low-cost method to fabricate copper conductive patterns at a low temperature is critical for printed electronics. Spray pyrolysis of a copper complex ink under a N2 flow at a temperature below 200 ˚C shows a high potential for this application. However, the produced copper patterns are a granular film consisting of connected fine particles. In this work, we demonstrate the method to fabricate a well-sintered copper film with low resistivity (less than four times of bulk copper) on a polyimide substrate. Our results revealed that the spraying rate is a critical parameter determining the degree of sintering of the film, where a low spraying rate leads to the formation of smaller particles that can easily sinter into the pre-deposited layer

Catalytic ethanol dehydration and dehydrogenation to value added products

Project undertaken by: Professor Dr. Bunjerd Jongsomjit

E-mail:  02-2186874, 089-7697506

Partner: Petrochemical industry (Upstream process)

About research: The research in catalytic ethanol dehydration and dehydrogenation to value added products aims to utilize ethanol more efficiently. Ethanol is derived from biomass via fermentation, a renewable and green process. At present, the use of ethanol is limited mostly as a solvent and fuel additive. However, ethanol can be converted to more valuable products, such as ethylene, diethyl ether and acetaldehyde, by catalytic processes. For instance, ethanol can be converted to ethylene and diethyl ether by catalytic dehydration, whereas acetaldehyde is produced via catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol. Therefore, the development of suitable catalysts used in these processes is crucial. The new knowledge obtained from this research will be used as references for petrochemical industries.


Green Mining Management; GMM

Project undertaken by: Environmental Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University



Achieving Reliable and Robust ISA Bonding

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., Ltd

About research: This research studied the reliability and strength of Au-Sn solder in the assembly of electronic devices that have only a small soldering space and require a high strength. The objective was to analyze the microstructure and failure analysis model. This required developing an optimal sample preparation method for studying the microstructure. Then, the effect of two different heat sources, laser and resistivity, on the subsequent solder microstructure was evaluated. The solder that was designed by Western Digital (Thailand) Co., Ltd, with added UBM and solder pad, was found to have a a satisfactory reliability and strength. The effect of the heat source and additives to the solder on the solder strength will be beneficial to the electronic industry in Thailand, allowing the development of suitable materials and processes in the soldering field.


Wetting property and surface characterization of silicon wafer

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: From Hydrogenated DLC layer for higher resistivity study. It is known that the surface energy can be used to specify the stability of a DLC layer, but the methods to measure the surface energy that are currently in use are not very precise. Therefore, the baseline of surface energy measurement is needed to be constructed.


Residual Stress Measurement in AlTiC by XRD

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: Bowing, crowning and other slider geometric anomalies and defects are based on the quality of the slider fabrication processes. In order to properly fabricate the sliders with minimal changes in their geometry, how each process contributes differently to the residual stresses that directly dictate the geometry of the sliders must be understood. This project aimed to understand the present condition of residual stresses in slider bars. By means of X-ray diffraction, the elongations and contractions in the crystal lattice and spacing of hkl places were measured. The residual stresses were determined by tilting specimens at certain orientations and angles, and were used as a key performance index. The residual stresses were measured at the back side, fine ceramic, front side, ASL and BL/KL at the finish of each process.

This technique can be used to quantify each of the lapping and grinding processes to truly benchmark the damage and residual stresses introduced inside the slider


Mechanical Characterization of Diamond Impregnation in a Lapping Plate

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: During the slider fabrication process, lapping is considered to be one of the most critical processes. The question becomes particularly challenging when the materials on the magnetic heads are considered. Multiple material properties must be lapped to a strict standard on the roughness and electro-magnetical responses. The slider bar after lapping and polishing requires a specific reader & writer stripe height, surface finish and flatness per product roadmap. In contrast, the production cycle time for lapping must be as short as possible. Diamond impregnation is one of the most critical parameters for lapping, where the steps and roughness due to different materials must be reduced to just a few angstroms. This project focused on the fundamentals of diamond impregnation behavior. The effective charging of diamonds could reduce the diamond consumption and slurry usage while improving or maintaining a high quality lapped surface. The key transfer function between KPIVs (plate material, diamond, plate surface topography, lube and others) and KPOV (diamond density, diamond embedment, charging time and others) will be identified.


Plasma Etching Effect on the MgO Structure and Chemistry, as Evaluated by XAS and Synchrotron Techniques

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: The local structure related to the magnetic and electrical properties of materials in a reading-head after plasma etching was analyzed X-ray absorption spectroscopy and related synchrotron techniques. From this study, the factors that affect the magnetic and electrical properties of the materials in the reading-head after plasma etching and those that affect the quality of the hard disk dive were derived, allowing guidelines and precautions in the manufacturing process to be drawn for Western Digital (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

Effect of deionized water, isopropyl alcohol and acetone on alumina titanium carbide (AlTiC)

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: The strengthening and chemical resistance property of AlTiC has made it attractive to many applications, including hard disk drives (HDDs). The cleaning process is one of the most important steps in the fabrication of the reader and writer head of a HDD. Deionized (DI) water was commonly used to clean samples, but it causes a change to the surface of AlTiC at a nanometer scale. Therefore, the reaction between DI water and AlTiC was studied.

Investigation of Key Process Parameters in Lapping and Grinding of Slider Fabrication

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Western Digital (Thailand) Co., LTD.

About research: Thailand’s main GDP comes from the hard drive manufacturing industry. In order to sustainably maintain the production base in Thailand, several key steps must be taken to secure its leading position in hard-drive manufacturing. In particular, the production of the magnetic head has been developed in Thailand for more than 20 y, which has depended on the continual development of the craftsmanship and technical knowhow in Thailand.



The technology involved has always been cutting edge and required research expertise from both in-house and university collaborations. The research and development team at Western Digital has played an important role in maintaining the competitive edge with accomplishing key technology advancements in magnetic head operation, particularly when as the aerial density has increased and the size requirements have approached nanometer length-scale. The production technology is currently at the border between theory and application.

There is a strong need to formulate theories and know-why of the existing know-how in order to innovate and meet stringent roadmaps. The first quarter of the research program is dedicated to the data acquisition and performing experiments that offer better insights into the existing process. Characterization and benchmarking will be the core activities in the second quarter so as to construct the relationships between key-input parameters and key-output performance indexes. The third quarter of the project will focus on the formulation of theories and proving hypothesis. The last quarter is devoted to the knowledge management to confirm and summarize critical findings as well as to prepare for the optimization process by performing carefully-planned experiments and fine-tuning the key process parameters discovered in the earlier stages.

In summary, there is limited fundamental knowledge and transfer function that explain the technical relationship between the KPIVs (grinding & lapping process) and the KPOVs (MRR_SH, MEW, surface finish, PTR, smearing and others). This research integrates individual projects and explains the know-why as well as confirms accurate findings.


Characterization of investment material towards the improvement of gold casting

Project undertaken by: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University

Partner: Christy Gems Company Limited

About research: In gold jewelry casting, the gypsum-bonded investment is used to produce a investment mold by a lost wax casting process. The gypsum-bonded consists of SiO2 (cristobalite and quartz) and gypsum. The dehydration of gypsum, the inversion of cristobalite and quartz and the III-II CaSO4 transition was investigated during burn-out flask mold for direct effects on the strength of the investment flask mold and quality of casting. Optimization of the investment composition and thermal behavior of the investment flask mold during the burn out process, led to an increased investment mold strength and quality of cast products. Moreover, the new burnout profile had a decreased burnout time. However, although the small size of investment powder gave a good surface quality to the gold products it reduced the mold permeability which caused gas defects at subsurface and reduced the surface hardness of the cast gold products


Humidity indicator from polydiacetylene UV indicator from polydiacetylene

Partner: The Thai Red Cross Society S SCREEN CO., LTD

Aroma films for the enhancement of the herbal scent in foods

About research: Instant foods/ready meals in convenience stores and supermarkets are part of modern urban life. Due to the high temperature in the production process and long time on the shelf, these foods are less aromatic compared to freshly made meals, even when the herbal ingredients were added at higher concentrations in the production. Our ‘AROMA FILMS’ are a product to help overcome this drawback of ready meals. Adding just a small piece of ‘AROMA FILM’ into any ready meal allows a fresh herbal aromatic character to be experienced during consumption of the meal. “AROMA FILMS” contain edible polysaccharides and natural essential oils. Up to 30% of the essential oils can be entrapped in the “AROMA FILMS”. In addition, essential oils are generally lipophilic and not miscible with water. However, the “AROMA FILMS” dissolve in warm water resulting in micro-particles of essential oils suspending in the aqueous food medium, whereupon the suspended microparticles then release the aromatic components during consumption. A wide range of essential oils and flavors can be incorporated into the “AROMA FILMS”. The physical properties, such as the film dissolution rates and flavor loadings, can also be tuned with our platform.


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