The Problem

Disease-carrying mosquitoes are a major problem worldwide and are the cause of many deadly diseases such as yellow fever, Zika, dengue fever, malaria, and other viruses [1]. Up to 97% of disease-carrying species are resistant to common insecticides, including pyrethroids and carbamates [1]. Although mosquitoes are susceptible to organophosphates, their widespread use is detrimental to human health, causing 300,000 deaths globally each year [2].

In North America, consumers struggle to find an effective repellent amongst leading products on the market such as those containing DEET; this can be attributed to a surge in mosquito resistance developed against popular repellent compounds. Many also report experiencing an unpleasant sticky feeling after application of DEET, and some experience side effects such as skin rashes and blisters. DEET can also melt plastic, synthetic fabric, and sealants. Repellents made with alternatives to DEET like picaridin or natural alternatives such as citronella or eucalyptus offer very limited protection efficacy and duration, leaving environmentally minded consumers without any effective options.

Our Solution

Maneico is a natural, highly effective, clean and safe mosquito repellent using mangrove leaf extract that effectively targets disease and non-disease carrying mosquitoes. Research has shown that red mangrove leaf extract is as or more effective than DEET, the most common active ingredient in current mosquito repellents on the market. Peer reviewed studies have shown that mangrove leaf extract is highly effective and is both an excellent repellent and larvicidal against the main disease-carrying mosquitoes, including those that carry yellow fever, malaria, and filarial disease. Also, mangrove leaf extract has yet to be commercialized as a repellent on a large scale. Accordingly, mosquitos have yet to develop a resistance. Our repellent will last for 8-11 hours of 100% protection, far outperforming leading DEET products (2-6 hours) and leading natural products (1-3 hours).

Maneico - A Start-Up

At the end of Winter 2023, Maneico separated from BioDesign to follow the path of entrepreneurs and become a start-up. 

Prior to splitting from the design club, Maneico participated in the McGill Dobson Bootcamp, a 10-week program guiding new founders through the diverse aspects and skillsets needed to launch their ventures. Following the bootcamp, Maneico continued to the McGill Dobson Cup where they competed in several rounds of pitching and established themselves as Dobson Cup Finalists.

Over the summer, Maneico, now an independent start-up, participated in the McGill Dobson X-1 Accelerator, further refining their business model, go-to-market strategy, and building on the momentum from the Dobson Cup. Maneico's next steps include finalizing and testing their prototype, and preparing for investor fundraising.

Dobson Cup 2023

Maneico Leads


[1]  C. M. Owusu-Asenso, J. A. A. Mingle, D. Weetman, and Y. A. Afrane, ‘Spatiotemporal distribution and insecticide resistance status of Aedes aegypti in Ghana’, Parasit Vectors, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 61, Feb. 2022, doi: 10.1186/s13071-022-05179-w.

[2]  E. L. Robb and M. B. Baker, ‘Organophosphate Toxicity’, in StatPearls, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, 2022. Accessed: Jan. 09, 2023. [Online]. Available:

Team Leads

Charlotte Volk

Charlotte is a U4 Bioengineering student interested in computational biology, immunology, and oncology.

In her free time, Charlotte loves to figure skate, read, and crochet.

Taisei Fu

Taisei is a Co-Team Lead for Maneico in the winter semester.

He is a U3 Bioengineering student who loves to bake bread, play tennis, and co-host a hockey podcast.

Emma Wong

Emma Wong is a U3 Bioengineering student and the Co-Team Lead for Maneico in the fall semester.

She enjoys crochet, playing guitar and running around in her spare time.