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Free Content The design and applications of multifunctional ligands

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The properties of a metal coordination complex are determined as much by the ligand set – the molecules and ions coordinated to the metal centre – as by the nature of the metal itself. The design and use of new ligands is consequently a major part of chemical research. This review considers the role of multifunctional ligands in three separate and distinct areas of chemistry. In homogeneous catalysis, the role of hybrid and hemilabile ligands is considered, and the introduction of functionalities designed to overcome problems of separation, either by tethering or solubilising, is discussed. In supramolecular chemistry, functionalities enabling the recognition and sensing of cations and anions are examined. In addition, ligands containing two or more faces are discussed for their role in metallodendrimer formation and self-assembly reactions, and the use of bifunctional ligands in crystal engineering is addressed. The application of metal complexes in medicine is examined by consideration of cis-platin and its derivatives as anti-tumour agents. Imaging agents are also discussed with the uses of gadolinium MRI contrast agents and γ-emitting technetium complexes highlighted.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Science Review, PO Box 314, St. Albans, Herts AL1 4ZG, UK

Publication date: August 15, 2002

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  • SCIENCE PROGRESS has for over 100 years been a highly regarded review publication in science, technology and medicine. Its objective is to excite the readers' interest in areas with which they may not be fully familiar but which could facilitate their interest, or even activity, in a cognate field. Science Progress commissions world authorities to contribute articles on the most interesting, important and meaningful topics - ranging from cosmology to the environment - and ensures that they are presented for the most effective use of those in both academia and industry.

    Truly, Science Progress publishes an eclectic mix of articles that no library can afford to be without.

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