Research has shown that rhamnolipids have many beneficial uses medically. Rhamnolipids have been used to heal bedsores that failed to respond to traditional treatments. They have also been used on wound and burn healing speeding up the process and reducing the associated scarring that occurs with other remedies. Tests have shown that rhamnolipids are very effective in treating psoriasis. It has been shown that rhamnolipids kill tuberculin bacteria. Rhamnolipids are also good at fighting fungal and bacterial infections.
Other medical applications include coating stents, implants, and prostheses as well as bandages to prevent infection and adhesion. In some cases, active rhamnolipid based biofilms and be used for coating stents.
Rhamnolipids have proven healing and disease fighting properties. Currently much research is focused on finding additional pharmacological uses for rhamnolipids.
Much early research into the use of rhamnolipids was done in Croatia. That research focused on skin treatments. Numerous studies showed successful results in curing or ameliorating psoriasis, decubitus ulcers, burns, and wounds.
Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most common form of psoriasis. It affects 80 to 90% of people with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis typically appears as raised areas of inflamed skin covered with silvery white scaly skin. These areas are called plaques.
Clinical experience in Croatia has proven significant and prolonged efficacy as a topical treatment for psoriasis, chronic wounds and as a burn wound treatment. Follow-up examinations on some of the Croatia study psoriasis participants showed they were free of symptoms seven years after the initial treatment with a rhamnolipid based formulation, indicating almost total remission.
There is indication the rhamnolipids will aid in the treatment of more of the wide range of dermatoses or exzemas.
Rhamnolipids have proven very beneficial in minimizing the scarring. A scar is a mark left in the skin by the healing of a wound or surgical incision in which the normal functional tissue (skin) is replaced by connective tissue (scar). Keloids are excessive accumulations of scar tissue beyond what is normally seen in most people. Keloids are more raised and thickened masses of connective tissue than scars.
After a large, deep wound has occurred to the skin, whether by accident or due to surgery, both skin cells and connective tissue cells (fibroblasts) begin multiplying to repair the damage. The fibroblasts form a framework upon which the skin cells can migrate and fill in the wound. It is the balance between the rates of replication of fibroblasts versus skin cells that is important here. If the skin cells do not replicate fast enough and the fibroblasts replicate too quickly, the result is a dense network of fibroblasts. This dense network of fibroblasts is not easily penetrated by the skin cells, so the skin cells have a hard time replacing the fibroblasts. What results is a dense network of fibroblasts, in other words a scar! If the skin cells replicate quickly and keep up with the fibroblasts, then little scar tissue is formed and the skin has a more normal appearance after the wound has healed. This is why scars do not occur as often in younger people as in older people because the skin cells in younger people replicate more quickly and fill in the wound with normal skin tissue versus too many fibroblasts.
More recently rhamnolipids have been used to coat stents, implants, bandages, and speech prostheses, etc. to minimize infections.
The fungicidal properties of rhamnolipids will help clear a number of fungal diseases. There are also antibacterial usages for rhamnolipids. Some studies suggest that there will be a role for rhamnolipids in oncology.
Since rhamnolipids can be used to form liposome, there are potential applications for using rhamnolipids for drug delivery.