Effect of synthetic surfactants and soapwort (Saponaria officinalis L.) extract on skin-mimetic model lipid monolayers

Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2019 Mar 1;1861(3):556-564. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2018.12.005. Epub 2018 Dec 21.


The effect of a saponin-rich extract from rhizomes of Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis L) and four synthetic surfactants: sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulphate (ALS) and cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) on two model lipid monolayers is analyzed using surface pressure, surface dilatational rheology and fluorescence microscopy. The following monolayers were employed: dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine/cholesterol mixture in a molar ratio of 7:3 (DPPC/CHOL) and Ceramide [AP]/stearic acid/cholesterol in a molar ratio of 14:14:10 (CER/SA/CHOL). They mimicked a general bilayer structure and an intercellular lipid mixture, respectively. Both lipid mixtures on Milli-Q water were first compressed to the initial surface pressure, Π0 = 30 mN/m and then the subphase was exchanged with the respective (bio)surfactant solution at 1% (w/w). All four synthetic surfactants behaved in a similar way: they increased surface pressure to about 40 mN/m and reduced the storage modulus of surface dilational surface rheology, E', to the values close to zero. The corresponding fluorescence microscopy pictures confirmed that the lipids mimicking the stratum corneum components were almost completely removed by the synthetic surfactants under the present experimental conditions. The components of the Soapwort extract (SAP) increased surface pressure to significantly higher values than the synthetic surfactants, but even more spectacular increase was observed for the storage modulus of the SAP-penetrated lipid monolayers (up to E'= 715 mN/m).

Keywords: ALES; Cocamidopropyl betaine; Plant extract; SLES; SLS; Saponin; Surface pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine / chemistry
  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry
  • Cholesterol / chemistry
  • Fluorescence
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Saponaria / chemistry*
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / chemistry
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / supply & distribution*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology*
  • Unilamellar Liposomes / chemistry


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Plant Extracts
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Unilamellar Liposomes
  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
  • Cholesterol
  • dodecyl sulfate