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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 65(9)

Sixty Years Young: The Diverse Biological Activities of Metal Polypyridyl Complexes Pioneered by Francis P. Dwyer

Nathan L. Kilah A C and Eric Meggers A B

A Fachbereich Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Straße, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
B College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, P. R. China.
C Corresponding author. Email: kilah@chemie.uni-marburg.de

Australian Journal of Chemistry 65(9) 1325-1332 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CH12275
Submitted: 6 June 2012  Accepted: 19 July 2012   Published: 21 August 2012


 
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Abstract

Sixty years ago, the Australian chemist Francis P. Dwyer pioneered the use of ruthenium polypyridyl complexes as biologically active compounds. These chemically inert and configurationally stable complexes revealed an astonishing range of interesting biological activities, such as the inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, anti-cancer activity in vivo, and bacteriostatic/bacteriocidal action. This review commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of Dwyer and co-workers’ landmark 1952 publication, summarises their broader achievements in biological inorganic chemistry, and discusses the contribution of this work to the development of modern biological and medicinal inorganic chemistry.





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