Hydroxyapatite Biosynthesis by a Serratia sp. and Application of Nanoscale Bio-HA in the Recovery of Strontium and Europium

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A Serratia sp. expresses a high level of acid phosphatase when grown continuously under carbon limitation. In the presence of CaCl2, biosynthesis of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (bio-HA) was achieved by utilizing phosphate released via enzymatic cleavage of an applied substrate (glycerol 2-phosphate: G2P). Hydroxyapatite crystals were identified by energy dispersive X-ray emission (EDX) and selected area diffraction (SAD). X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis gave a mean crystallite size of ∼21–32 nm, with the smallest crystals (21–24 nm) obtained using 1 mM Ca2+ and 1 mM G2P. The uptake of Eu3+ and Sr2+ by bio-HA made by continuously pregrown cells (0.42 mg/mg and 0.043 mg/mg respectively) was ∼20% greater for Sr2+ than was previously reported for bio-HA material of size ∼40 nm made by batch-pregrown cells, while the corresponding uptake of Eu3+ was increased by > 1.8-fold. This was attributed to the localization of Eu (III) at grain boundaries by reference to previous work and highlights the potential of bio-HA as a sequestration agent for recovery of rare earth elements and trivalent actinides.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016