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A Designed Biosurfactant Protein for Switchable Foam Control

Authors

  • Prof. Anton P. J. Middelberg,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Biomolecular Engineering, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD (Australia), Fax: (+61) 33463190
    • Centre for Biomolecular Engineering, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD (Australia), Fax: (+61) 33463190
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  • Mirjana Dimitrijev-Dwyer

    1. School of Chemical Engineering, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD (Australia), Fax: (+61) 33463190
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Abstract

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Making and breaking foams: A facile method for foam control is reported using a designed biosurfactant. The new biosurfactant is based on a four-helix bundle design which is interfacially active across a broad pH range. At pH 8.5 stable foam forms, yet decreasing the pH to 7.5 causes rapid foam dissipation. This unique behaviour can be linked to subtle molecular and specific-ion effects which lead to switchable changes in the state of the foam thin film (see picture).

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