Coacervate formation from natural glycolipid: one acetyl group on the headgroup triggers coacervate-to-vesicle transition

J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Sep 8;126(35):10804-5. doi: 10.1021/ja0400281.


Coacervate (L3 phase) formation of the single component "natural" glycoliped biosurfactant, MEL-A, was observed for the first time by using an optical microscope, a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM), and a freeze-fracture electron microscope (FF-TEM). It was also found that only a slight decrease in spontaneous curvature resulting from the absence of one acetyl group on the headgroup induced a drastic morphological change in the 3D self-assembled structure from coacervates (L3 phase) to ordered vesicles (Lalpha phase).

MeSH terms

  • Colloids / chemistry
  • Erythritol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Freeze Fracturing
  • Glycolipids / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Colloids
  • Glycolipids
  • mannosylerythritol lipid
  • Erythritol