Osmium has no known biological function. Osmium tetroxide is commonly used as a fixative to prepare
biological specimens for electron microscopy, but little information has been published on interactions of
osmium with living microorganisms. Woolfolk and
Whiteley (1962) reported that extracts of Micrococcus lactilyticus reduced osmium tetroxide to osmate
reduced osmium dioxide and osmium(III) chloride to osmium metal. The authors also observed reduction of osmium tetroxide by
extracts of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans.
For more information:
Medline for osmium metabolism AND bacteria