Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 327–339

Assessing bioavailability of the solubilization of organic compound in nonionic surfactant micelles by dose–response analysis

Environmental Biotechnology

DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2737-6

Cite this article as:
Dai, Z., Wang, Z., Xu, JH. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2010) 88: 327. doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2737-6


It is uncertain in some extent that organic compounds solubilized in micelles of a nonionic surfactant aqueous solution are bioavailable directly by the microbes in an extractive microbial transformation or biodegradation process. In this work, a dose–response method, where a bioequivalence concept is introduced to evaluate the synergic toxicity of the nonionic surfactants and the organic compounds, was applied to analyze the inhibition effect of organic compounds (naphthalene, phenyl ether, 2-phenylethanol, and 1-butanol) in nonionic surfactant Triton X-100 micelle aqueous solutions and Triton X-114 in aqueous solutions forming cloud point systems. Based on the result, a mole solubilization ratio of organic compounds in micelle was also determined, which consisted very well with those of classic semi-equilibrium dialysis experiments. The results exhibit that bioavailability of organic compounds solubilized in micelles to microbial cells is negligible, which provides a guideline for application of nonionic surfactant micelle aqueous solutions or cloud point systems as novel media for microbial transformations or biodegradations.


BioavailabilityDose–response analysisMicelleNonionic surfactantCloud point system

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zewen Dai
    • 1
  • Zhilong Wang
    • 1
  • Jian-He Xu
    • 2
  • Hanshi Qi
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PharmacyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China