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Assimilation generally refers to intracellular accumulation (non-essential metals may be inadvertently taken up by cells).

Adsorption generally refers to extracellular accumulation onto EPS, cell walls (which tend to be negatively charged). The mechanism is often one of ion exchange.

  • NB1: Metals may be taken up by dead biomass.
  • NB2: Biosorption: biotechnology of using microbial biomass to selectively adsorb metals from solutions (and possibly to accumulate and recover metals), Used/developed for bioremediation.
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