About this Research Topic
Surfactants are chemically diverse compounds that are able to reduce interfacial and superficial tensions. Their tensioactive properties make them essential for a wide variety of applications like food products, cosmetics, soaps and detergents, agriculture, oil recovery and clean-up of oil spills. Most of the surfactants used today are chemically synthetized and their production cost is very low, but in many cases they are toxic and show a low biodegradability. Biosurfactants that are produced by microorganisms, like bacteria and yeasts, may represent an eco-friendly alternative, but they have just recently started to be commercialized, mainly because of challenges in their large-scale production. The aim of this Research Topic is to present different approaches on the synthesis (including metabolic engineering strategies), production (fermentation and downstream processing) and applications of different types of biosurfactants, in order to present a wide panorama of the state-of-the-art in the field.
The production of novel biosurfactants that are suitable for a wide range of industrial applications and even their use in medical applications such as drug delivery nanocapsules based on biosurfactants are now feasible developments. Furthermore, the glycolipid biosurfactants sophorolipids, produced by non-pathogenic yeasts, and rhamnolipids, naturally produced by the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are now part of products that are on the market. In this context, we face important research challenges related to biosurfactants at different levels.
The aim of the Research Topic “Biosurfactants, new insights in their synthesis, production and applications” is to include different views and research approaches coming from diverse scientific disciplines that address these fascinating molecules, hence an interdisciplinary contribution is reached. Biosurfactants can be studied from the point of view of chemistry, physical chemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology, genomics, bioengineering, ecotoxicology, life-cycle assessment, product formulation, or market analysis, and all of these approaches are welcomed in this Research Topic.
The aim of this Research topic is to present a wide range of approaches related to biosurfactants in the form of research articles, mini-reviews, methods or opinions. Understanding the molecular genetics of biosurfactants production, designing metabolic engineering strategies to develop over-producing strains, creating models for their heterologous production, or biosurfactants with novel chemical structures that can be produced by microorganisms or by enzymatic synthesis, the screening of metagenomic libraries for genes involved in the synthesis of molecules with tensio-active properties, the development of analytical methods for biosurfactant analysis, as well as designing fermentation processes for their large scale production, strategies for downstream processing or product formulations, are some of the active research areas in the field of biosurfactants, that are within the scope of this Research Topic in Frontiers of Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
Some of the themes that are within the scope of this Research Topic are:
• Molecular genetics of biosurfactant-producing yeasts and bacteria.
• Genomic approaches to identify new biosurfactants.
• Biosurfactants produced by enzymatic synthesis.
• Analytical methods for the study of biosurfactants.
• Use of waste products for biosurfactant production.
• Product formulation.
Keywords: Biosurfactants-Coding Genes, Biosurfactants and Bioremediation, Fermentation Processes for Biosurfactant Production, Novel Biosurfactant Applications, Microorganisms Producing Biosurfactants
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.