Project BestBioSurf – Biotechnologische Entwicklung und Herstellung von ökologisch verträglichen Biotensiden

Basic data

Biotechnologische Entwicklung und Herstellung von ökologisch verträglichen Biotensiden
01/06/2018 to 31/05/2021
Abstract / short description:
Biosurfactants can be defined as surface-active biomolecules produced by microorganisms with wide-range of applications such as
emulsification, detergency, solubilization, lubrication and phase dispersion. In recent years, these biomolecules have attracted wide interest
from the scientific community but also from many industrials due to their unique properties like specificity, low toxicity and relative ease of
preparation. Also, biosurfactants show several advantages over chemical surfactants, including higher biodegradability and better
environmental compatibility.
In light of all of this, the BestBioSurf project aims at producing novel and eco-friendly biosurfactants in a cost-effective manner through initial pilot validation in laboratory settings, to a larger bio-process scale up. In order to do so, the BestBioSurf project will use the Bacillus subtilis bacterial host system as a primary choice for producing these novel biosurfactants. This is mainly due to the strain’s long history and well-established experimental proof-of concept use in the biotechnological area of lipopeptide bioengineering. Precisely, we introduce a novel and original strategy based on bioinformatics, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering to perform
molecular diversification of well establishedbiosurfactants with high efficacy, low toxicity and high biodegradability, and to produce these at
high titers. First, toxicity/efficacy assays with existing lipopeptide and molecular modeling of chemical variants of these compounds with
target liquids will be used to define the physicochemical properties of the best biosurfactant to produce. Then, genome mining and synthetic
biology will enable the identification and the construction of novel biosynthetic pathway variants towards the target compounds. To reduce
their cost price, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism in the producing cells will subsequently be genetically optimized in order to turn very
cheap co-substrates provided by a bioethanol industrial producer into high product titers. Finally, the newly produced (novel) surface-active
compounds will be checked for their efficacy and ecotoxicity by the end-user study of this project. This end-user is an SME close to the
market that could replicate widely the technology through its various activity areas including oil dispersants, innovative chemical cleaning,
hygiene, aerospace to rail rolling stock and waterborne pollution. Many other potential applications with high eco-friendly impacts include
agriculture (biosurfactants-based biopesticides), medicine (anti-microbial & anti-cancer activity), and cosmetics (emulsification & foaming
properties). This wide range of applications opens up a whole new window of opportunities for partnering in the future with many more
end-users that could benefit from the BestBioSurf technologies.
synthetic biology
synthetische Biologie
genetic engineering



Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Pharmaceutical Institute
Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Pharmaceutical Institute
Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Pharmaceutical Institute
Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry
Faculty of Science


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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