Bioprocessing Methods to Prepare Biobased Surfactants for Pharmaceutical Products
Hayes, D. G.  2011.  American Pharmaceutical Review 14 (3) 8-16.

Surfactants have numerous uses in pharmaceuticals, for solubilization of hydrophobic drugs in aqueous media, as components of emulsion or surfactant self-assembly vehicles for oral and transdermal drug delivery, as plasticizers in semisolid delivery systems, and agents to improve drug absorption and penetration. Many pharmaceuticalgrade surfactants consist of saccharide- or polyol-fatty acid esters or fatty alcohol ethers. There is increased interest and opportunity to produce the surfactants from renewable resources rather than employing petrochemical feedstocks, to improve sustainability. With the cost of petroleum anticipated to increase, biobased surfactants will become cost-competitive in the near term. Bioprocessing-based manufacture of saccharide- and polyol-based surfactants using enzymes to direct manufacture will become increasingly attractive compared to chemical-based preparation due to the reduction of byproducts and the lowering of energy and downstream purification costs, which will offset the increased input costs for the biocatalysts.