Mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), which are one of the representative sugar-based biosurfactants (BSs) produced by microorganisms, have attracted much attention in various fields in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) era. However, they are inseparable mixtures with respect to the chain length of the fatty acids. In this study, self-assembling properties and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of recovery effects on damaged skin cells using chemically synthesized MELs were investigated. It was revealed, for the first time, that synthetic and homogeneous MELs exhibited significant self-assembling properties to form droplets or giant vesicles. In addition, a small difference in the length of the fatty acid chains of the MELs significantly affected their recovery effects on the damaged skin cells. MELs with medium or longer length alkyl chains exhibited much higher recovery effects than that of C18-ceramide NP.
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