Chelating Ligands Toward Toxic Metal Ions

Ligand Commercial or Trivial Name

(a) 2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanol Dimercaprol, BAL

(b) D-P,P-Dimethylcysteine D-Penicillamine, PEN

(c) Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid EDTA

(d) Desferrioxamine DFO, desferral

Preferred Metal Ions

Hg2+, As3+, Sb3+, Ni2+ Cu2+, Hg2+ Ca2+, Pb2+ Fe3+, Al3+

constitutes a fundamental challenge in bioinorganic chemistry, and development of chelating pharmaceuticals that specifically sequester the undesired (heavy) metal ions becomes imperative. The most successful ligands demonstrate selectivity by (1) exclusive fitting to ions of definite size and charge; (2) comprising donor atoms that prefer Lewis acids of certain hardness or softness (Section 10.4.2). Further, the chelates must (3) form thermodynamically stable and kinetically inert coordination compounds (Sections 10.4.1 through 10.4.3); and finally (4) be able to excrete the undesired metal ion rapidly and effectively.

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