Sophorolipid biosurfactants: Possible uses as antibacterial and antibiofilm agent

Mayri A. Dı´az De Rienzo, Ibrahim Banat, Ben Dolman, James Winterburn, Peter J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)
398 Downloads (Pure)


Biosurfactants are amphipathic, surface-active molecules of microbial origin which accumulate at interfaces reducing interfacial tension and leading to the formation of aggregated micellular structures in solution. Some biosurfactants have been reported to have antimicrobial properties, the ability to prevent adhesion and to disrupt biofilm formation. We investigated antimicrobial properties and biofilm disruption using sophorolipids at different concentrations. Growth of Gram negative Cupriavidus necator ATCC 17699 and Gram positive Bacillus subtilis BBK006 were inhibited by sophorolipids at concentrations of 5% v/v with a bactericidal effect. Sophorolipids (5% v/v) were also able to disrupt biofilms formed by single and mixed cultures of B. subtilis BBK006 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 9144 under static and flow conditions, as was observed by scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that sophorolipids may be promising compounds for use in biomedical application as adjuvants to other antimicrobial against some pathogens through inhibition of growth and/or biofilm disruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-726
JournalNew Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2015


  • Sophorolipid
  • biosurfactants
  • antibacterial
  • antibiofilm


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