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Abstract

The adsorption of aluminum ions by Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been investigated by determining adsorption isotherms and electrophoretic mobility. The adsorption of aluminum ensures a neutralization of the cell surface charge and allows adhesion of the cells to glass and polycarbonate. Glass slides have been taken as a negatively charged model support, allowing the authors to study in detail the process of adhesion. The cells are simply pretreated by an aluminum solution near pH 4. Bringing the Al-pretreated cells in contact with the support by sedimentation and washing the support and sediment makes it possible to obtain a single, dense, regular layer of cells adhering strongly to the support. Adhesion can also be obtained from a suspension flowing parallel to a vertical support, provided the flow velocity is sufficiently small; the amount of cells immobilized per unit support area is about one-half that obtained by sedimentation. The immobilized cells show a specific activity for ethanol production from glucose which is similar to cells in suspension.