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CHEM203: Bioinorganic Chemistry

Unit 8: Toxicology And Medical Applications   Several metal ions are essential to biological functions in humans, and deficiencies in these ions can lead to serious adverse health effects.  Yet, these same metal ions that are beneficial also can act as toxins to biological organisms in higher doses or under different applications.  However, when used in specific ways, some metals also have been utilized in a variety of medical applications.  Medical applications of metal ions range from diagnostic uses to therapeutic uses, including drug delivery systems.  In this unit, you will examine both the necessity and toxicity of certain metal ions.  You also will learn about some therapeutic medical uses of these ions, such as their contribution to anti-arthritic compounds and anti-cancer agents.  In addition, you will explore some key medical diagnostic techniques that rely on metal ions, such as MRI scans and nuclear imaging.  You will conclude this unit with a look at some of the more recent developments in the medical applications of metals, including the use of metals in antimicrobials, which fight harmful bacteria and fungi; insulin-mimetics, which aim to treat diabetes; and even antidepressants, for the treatment of mental illness.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 14 hours to complete.
 
☐    Subunit 8.1: 11 hours       

☐    Subunit 8.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 8.4: 0.5 hour

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student should be able to:
- Identify metal ions of biological importance and describe some effects of their deprivation. - Describe metal toxicity and contraindications to the pharmacological use of metal-containing compounds. - Describe how sometimes-toxic compounds can also facilitate medical diagnostics and treatment.  - Identify key recent developments in the medical field that are based on inorganic or bioinorganic principles. - Make predictions about the usefulness of new compounds for bio-application based on an understanding of inorganic chemistry and biological activity.   

8.1 Essential Metals and Metal Toxicity   - Reading: Bioinorganic Chemistry: Dr. Stephen J. Lippard’s “Chapter 9: Metals in Medicine” Link: Bioinorganic Chemistry: Dr. Stephen J. Lippard’s “Chapter 9: Metals in Medicine” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above to access the online textbook.  Then, scroll down the webpage and click on the link for chapter 9 to open a PDF version of the chapter, which you should read in its entirety.  You may also choose to download a PDF of the entire book and then navigate to chapter 9, which begins on page 505. 
 
Throughout this course, we have discussed the biological significance of several metal ions, including copper, iron, and zinc.  For this subunit, focus in particular on sections II (“Metal Deficiency and Disease,” beginning on page 506) and III (“Toxic Effects of Metals,” beginning on page 508) of chapter 9 in the textbook.  This material describes what happens when you have too much or too little of these biologically important cations.
 
Please note that this reading also covers material you need to know for subunits 8.2-8.4, found below.  When you reach those subunits, you will receive further instructions for a targeted review of this reading.
 
This reading, including note-taking, should take you approximately 8 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The University of Glasgow: Dr. Lee Cronin’s *Metals in Medicine* Link: The University of Glasgow: Dr. Lee Cronin’s Metals in Medicine (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above to access Dr. Cronin’s webpage.  Then, click on the link in the middle of the webpage titled “Full Metals in Medicine Lecture Course” to open a PDF version of the lecture slides.  Please read the slides in their entirety, but focus specifically on slides 6-9, beginning with “The biomedical periodic table” and ending with “Chemical Considerations.”  Notice that we are revisiting the concepts of oxidation states, ligand binding, and HSAB theory when we consider metal ions for medical uses.  
     
    Please note that this reading also covers material you will need to know for subunits 8.2-8.4, found below.  When you reach those subunits, you will receive further instructions for a targeted review of this reading.
     
    This reading should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2 Metals as Therapeutic Agents   Note: The material you need to know for this subunit is covered in the textbook and lecture-note readings assigned beneath subunit 8.1, found above.  For this subunit, focus specifically on section IV of chapter 9, titled “Survey of Metals Used for Diagnosis and Chemotherapy,” beginning on page 514.  Focus specifically on pages 517-522 of this section.  Also review slides 10-35 of the lecture notes, beginning with the slide titled “Metal based Anti-Cancer Drugs” and ending with “Rheumatoid arthritis.”  In addition, section V of the textbook, titled “Platinum Anticancer Drugs: A Case Study,” specifically pages 522-580, provides an actual case study for the anti-cancer use of cisplatin, a platinum-based complex.  Spend approximately 2 hours reviewing these sections of the readings.

8.3 Metals as Diagnostic Tools   Note: The material you need to know for this subunit is covered in the textbook and lecture-note readings assigned beneath subunit 8.1, found above.  For this subunit, focus specifically on section IV of chapter 9, titled “Survey of Metals Used for Diagnosis and Chemotherapy,” in particular pages 514-517 of the textbook.  Also review slides 36-87 of the lecture notes, beginning with “Magnetic Resonance Imaging” and ending with “Chelation Therapy with EDTA – a breakthrough?”  This area of medical technology relies heavily on the basic principles of inorganic chemistry.  The selection criteria for metal ions used in high-contrast MRI are directly related to those ions’ spin states and ligand-coordination spheres.  Spend approximately 30 minutes reviewing these sections of the readings.

8.4 Recent Developments   Note: The material you need to know for this subunit is covered in the textbook and lecture-note readings assigned beneath subunit 8.1, found above.  For this subunit, focus specifically on pages 577-580 of the textbook and slides 88-94 of the lecture notes, beginning with “Molecular Targets for Metal-based drugs” and proceeding to the last slide of the presentation (“POMs are Excellent potential drugs”).  This section of the lecture notes focuses on current research in metal-based medical applications, such as the developments of a vanadium complex that works as an insulin mimetic and molybdenum complexes that target the HIV virus.  Spend  approximately 30 minutes reviewing these sections of the readings.