Arch Microbiol. 2024 Jan 10;206(2):60. doi: 10.1007/s00203-023-03786-4.
Biosurfactants are naturally occurring, surface-active chemicals generated by microorganisms and have attracted interest recently because of their numerous industrial uses. Compared to their chemical equivalents, they exhibit qualities that include lower toxic levels, increased biodegradable properties, and unique physiochemical properties. Due to these traits, biosurfactants have become attractive substitutes for synthetic surfactants in the pharmaceutical industry. In-depth research has been done in the last few decades, demonstrating their vast use in various industries. This review article includes a thorough description of the various types of biosurfactants and their production processes. The production process discussed here is from oil-contaminated waste, agro-industrial waste, dairy, and sugar industry waste, and also how biosurfactants can be produced from animal fat. Various purification methods such as ultrafiltration, liquid-liquid extraction, acid precipitation, foam fraction, and adsorption are required to acquire a purified product, which is necessary in the pharmaceutical industry, are also discussed here. Alternative ways for large-scale production of biosurfactants using different statistical experimental designs such as CCD, ANN, and RSM are described here. Several uses of biosurfactants, including drug delivery systems, antibacterial and antifungal agents, wound healing, and cancer therapy, are discussed. Additionally, in this review, the future challenges and aspects of biosurfactant utilization in the pharmaceutical industry and how to overcome them are also discussed.