Solution and Interfacial Characterization of Rhamnolipid Biosurfactant from P.aeruginosa ATCC 9027
AdvisorPemberton, Jeanne E.
Committee ChairPemberton, Jeanne E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRhamnolipid biosurfactants are investigated to determine their role in biological processes, and for discovery of novel, more biocompatible applications in areas related to medicine, agriculture, and environment. Fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical properties of rhamnolipids is needed. Thus, systematic studies on solution and interfacial properties on rhamnolipids from P.aeruginosa ATCC 9027 were undertaken. A purification protocol was developed and a thorough qualitative and quantitative speciation analysis was performed with high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and HPLC with evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD). Acid-base properties of the mixture of 30 monorhamnolipid congeners, including both saturated and unsaturated species, were characterized at concentrations below and above the CMC at fixed ionic strength using potentiometry and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATRFTIR) spectroscopy. A pKₐ of 4.3 was found for concentrations below 50 μM and a pKₐ of 5.6 above 100 μM. The pKₐ is dictated by aggregation in solution. Molecular areas of monorhamnolid monolayers at the air-water interface are strongly influenced by protonation state, and increase from 31 to 109 Å²/molecule as pH increases from 4 to 8.5 and as ionic strength decreases. Adsorption isotherms of monorhamnolipids on γ-Al₂O₃ were investigated as a function of pH using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and Frumkin model fits, from which K(ads) values of 1.20 (± 0.10) x 10⁵ M⁻¹ at pH 4.0, 2.14 (± 0.51) x 10⁴ M⁻¹ at pH 6.3 and 1.31 (± 0.09) x 10³ M⁻¹ at pH 8.6 were obtained. Interaction parameters were positive at all pH values. Cooperative adsorption is driven by hydrophobic interactions (physisorption) at any pH including hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions. Chemisorption was also observed at high pH values. Formation constants for monorhamnolipid-Pb²⁺ and monorhamnolipid-Cd²⁺ complexes were determined using differential pulse polarography in the low μM concentration range. A modified Lingane equation was developed to account for monorhamnolipid adsorption on the Hg surface. β values for adsorbed metal complexes are ~10^3.2 and ~10^0.8 for Pb²⁺ and Cd²⁺, respectively, compared to previously published β values of 10^8.58 and 10^6.89, respectively. Evidence for 1:1 and 2:1 monorhamnolipid-metal complexes was provided by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry.