Dr. Katrin Pollmann
Head of the Biotechnology Department

Phone: +49 351 260 - 2946
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3553, -12946


Biosorption refers to the binding of metals or metal ions by cells, cell components or biomolecules. At present, biosorption is primarily used for the removal of heavy metals using biomass such as waste products (e.g., plant residues, crab shells) or algae. However, these biomass substances are barely selective and therefore unsuitable for enriching metals of interest only.

That is the reason why the Biotechnology Department focuses on the selection and development of selectively binding biomolecules. These include, among others, microbial complexing agents such as siderophores, bacterial surface layer proteins (S-layers) as well as peptides. The latter are being selected and further developed with the phage surface display technology.

The team investigates the following topics:

  • Development of siderophore-based, biosorptive materials for selectively recovering metal ions (e.g., gallium) from dilute solutions
  • Selection and development of metal binding peptides using the phage surface display technology; development of protein- or peptide-based biocomposites for selectively recovering metal ions
  • Molecular characterization of biomolecule-metal interactions (in close cooperation with the HZDR Institute for Resource Ecology)
  • Process development for producing metal binding biomolecules

Selected Publications

  • Pollmann, K.; Kutschke, S.; Matys, M.; Kostudis, S.; Hopfe, S.; Raff, J.
    "Novel biotechnological approaches for the recovery of metals from primary and secondary resources", Minerals 6(2016)2, 54
    DOI-Link: 10.3390/min6020054
  • Suhr, M.; Unger, N.; Viacava, K. E.; Günther, T. J.; Raff, J.; Pollmann, K.
    "Investigation of metal sorption behavior of Slp1 from Lysinibacillus sphaericus JG-B53 – A combined study using QCM-D, ICP-MS and AFM", Biometals (2014)27, 1337-1349

    DOI-Link: 10.1007/s10534-014-9794-8

  • Pollmann, K.; Raff, J.; Merroun, M.; Fahmy, K.; Selenska-Pobell, S.
    Metal binding by bacteria from uranium mining waste piles and its technological applications", Biotechnology Advances 24(2006)1, 58-68

    DOI-Link: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2005.06.002