Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 285, Issue 12, pp 1351–1360 | Cite as

Interaction between the antibacterial compound, oleuropein, and model membranes

  • Jorge Casas-Sanchez
  • M. Asuncion Alsina
  • Mathias K. Herrlein
  • Concepció MestresEmail author
Original Contribution


Oleuropein, a secoiridoid glycoside extracted from the olive tree, Olea europaea L., has been described as showing antibacterial properties. However, the exact mechanism of these antimicrobial properties is not yet well understood. In the present study, we have studied the interaction of oleuropein with phosphatidylglycerol (PG) as a model membrane for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) (Gram-positive bacteria) and phosphatidylethanolamine and Escherichia coli (E. coli) lipid extract as a model membrane for E. coli (Gram-negative bacteria). The study has been carried out using monolayers as model membranes and using kinetics at constant area and compression isotherms with Brewster angle microscopy (BAM) observations. The results show that oleuropein interacts in higher extent with PG monolayers, which is related with its stronger antibacterial effect against Gram-positive bacteria. The effects on the membrane are probably produced at the cell surface because oleuropein did not form stable mixed monolayers with the lipids assayed at the air/water interface.


Oleuropein Surface activity Langmuir monolayers Compression isotherm Brewster angle microscopy (BAM) Staphylococcus aureus Escherichia coli 



We wish to thank Mrs. Susanne Osbahr for the drawings of Fig. 12.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Casas-Sanchez
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Asuncion Alsina
    • 1
  • Mathias K. Herrlein
    • 2
  • Concepció Mestres
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physicochemistry, Faculty of PharmacyUniversidad de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Procter and Gamble Service GmbHSchwalbach am TaunusGermany

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