New Delhi: Biofilms are dense, sticky mat like assemblies formed by communities of bacteria in critical medical equipment such as catheters and implants. Such microbial biofilms are hard to eliminate because bacteria build barriers using sugars, proteins and DNA molecules that prevent antibiotics to reach their target sites within microbes. It is also a problem in food processing industry.
Now a team of Indian scientists have figured out to disrupt such microbial assemblies and prevent them from forming.
Researchers from SASTRA University at Thanjavur have synthesized a new class of glycolipid based surfactant from renewable feedstocks, monosaccharide and cashew nut shell liquid. The term “surfactant” stands for “surface active agents” often used in detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers and foaming agents.
“We have developed a simple method to produce non-ionic surfactant from cardanol, which is present in cashew nut shell – a waste material from the cashew-nut industry. The glycolipid surfactant production from waste motivated us to test its capacity to disrupt pathogenic biofilms,” said Dr. C S Srinandan, who led the research team along with Dr Subbaiah Nagarajan.
Dr Srinandan (extreme right) with the research team.