Bacteria as workers in the living factory: metal-accumulating bacteria and their potential for materials science

Trends Biotechnol. 2001 Jan;19(1):15-20. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7799(00)01514-6.


Metal micro-/nano-particles with suitable chemical modification can be organized into new ceramic-metal (cermet) or organic-metal (orgmet) composites or structured materials. These materials are attracting significant attention because of their unique structures and highly optimized properties. However, the synthesis of composite materials with inhomogeneities on the nanometer or sub-micrometer scale is a continuing challenge in materials science. Many industrial physical and chemical surface-coating processes using conventional techniques are both energy and cost inefficient and require sophisticated instrumentation. In the future, biology might offer a superior option.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Biotechnology
  • Metals / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Polymers
  • Pseudomonas / ultrastructure
  • Silver / chemistry


  • Metals
  • Polymers
  • Silver