[en] The micelles of a recently synthesized copolymer of poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-polyacrylonitrile added to the growth solution of the filamentous yeast Trichosporon cutaneum strain R57 led to the formation of a binary system consisting of micelles and cells. The resulting micelle/cell system was studied as a model for the removal of toxic concentrations of heavy-metal ions (cadmium and copper) from aqueous solutions. The ion-removal efficiency mediated by this system was higher than for free-floating cells. The copper-removal efficiency from the solution reached a level of 65% after 24 h of cultivation, whereas the cadmium-removal efficiency reached 62% after 6 h of growth. For comparison, the free-floating cells removed 42% of copper and only 38% of cadmium from the solutions. The effects of surface interactions between the cells and polymer micelles on the biosorption capacity of the cells are discussed in the article.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)