Aside from its excellent mechanical properties, spider silk (SS) would offer an active surface for heavy metal interaction due to its rich protein structure. The present study describes the potential use of natural (SS) as a sorbent of heavy metals from aqueous solutions. Single and multi-species biosorption experiments of heavy metals by natural SS were conducted using batch and column experiments. The biosorption kinetics, in general, was found to follow the second-order rate expression, and the experimental equilibrium biosorption data fitted reasonably well to Freundlich isotherm. From the Freundlich isotherm, the biosorption capacities of Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions onto SS were found as 0.20 and 0.007 mmol g(-1), respectively. The results showed a decrease in the extent of metal ion uptake with lowering the pH. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.