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Antibiotic resistance is a rising problem over the last decade making it difficult to treat infections caused by
various pathogenic bacteria. To tackle this problem, newer antimicrobial strategies are being explored. Sophorolipids are a class of biomolecules produced by a non-pathogenic yeast S. bombicola with surfactant as well as potent broad spectrum antibacterial activity. In this work, we have successfully synthesized sophorolipids using different fatty acids with increasing chain length of hydrophobic tail; Lauric acid (C12)-LASL, Myristic acid (C14)-MASL, Palmitic acid (C16)-PASL and Stearic acid (C18)-SASL. We have used various techniques like FTIR, HRMS to characterize the synthesized SL. Further, we have measured properties like the critical micellar concentration for these biosurfactants and the SL’s showed CMC less than or equal to 100 mg/L indicating excellent surface-active property. We have studied the antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Interestingly, the antibacterial activity was found to be more potent as the chain length of the fatty acid in the SL decreased. This trend was found to be reverse for toxicity towards mammalian cells. The shorter chain fatty acid SL’s were found to be less cytotoxic. 


sophorolipid biosurfactant short chain fatty acid antibacterial

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Hirlekar, S., Abhyankar, I., Kane, K., Trimukhe, K., Prabhune, P., & Nisal*, A. (2021). Green Antibacterial Molecules: Sophorolipids with Varying Fatty Acid Chain . Trends in Biomaterials & Artificial Organs, 35(5), 431-437. Retrieved from

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