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Biomacromolecules. 2002 May-Jun;3(3):462-5.

Heavy metal removal by novel CBD-EC20 sorbents immobilized on cellulose.

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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Environmental Toxicology Program, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


Heavy metals are major contributors to pollution of the biosphere, and their efficient removal from contaminated water is required. Biosorption is an emerging technology that has been shown to be effective in removing very low levels of heavy metal from wastewater. Although peptides such as metallothioneins or phytotchelatins are known to immobilize heavy metals, peptide-based biosorbents have not been extensively investigated. In this paper, we describe the construction and expression of bifunctional fusion proteins consisting of synthetic phytochelatin (EC20) linked to a Clostridium-derived cellulose-binding domain (CBD(clos)), enabling purification and immobilization of the fusions onto different cellulose materials in essentially a single step. The immobilized sorbents were shown to be highly effective in removing cadmium at parts per million levels. Repeated removal of cadmium was demonstrated in an immobilized column. The ability to genetically engineer biosorbents with precisely defined properties could provide an attractive strategy for developing high-affinity bioadsorbents suitable for heavy metal removal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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