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Emerging Topics in Metal Complexes: Pharmacological Activity 2.0

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2024 | Viewed by 167

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedicine and Environmental Research, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Interests: mechanisms of toxicity of selected elements; mechanisms of metal interactions; seeking the most sensitive biomarkers to assess organism reactions to some metals; cytotoxicity of metals; bioelements; oxidative stress; antioxidants; in vivo/in vitro studies; experimental toxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT), Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2. CCMAR, Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: metals in molecular sciences; decavanadate biochemistry; polyoxometalate (POM) interactions with proteins; metals and biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to their pharmacological potential, metal complexes and compounds have been arousing interest in many research centers worldwide. The structure and properties of many metal coordination compounds make them therapeutically effective. They are used not only in the treatment of some modern-age diseases but also in clinical diagnostics. Currently, metal complexes and compounds (such as polyoxometalates) are prominent players in medicine and medicinal chemistry.

The results of certain studies have demonstrated that gold (Au), silver (Ag), platinum (Pt), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and ruthenium (Ru) coordination compounds exhibit antitumor, antimicrobial, and immunosuppressive activity. Some of them, i.e., Cu and Zn complexes, have also been studied in the context of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, which is a constantly growing social concern. Numerous studies have also revealed the potential therapeutic benefits of vanadium (V) complexes and compounds, which are at the forefront among the different metals examined for their potential therapeutic use. Its multidirectional biological properties (i.e., antiviral, antibacterial, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antiallergic, antioxidative, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiulcer, and antiobesity activity), as well as its neuroprotective, nephroprotective, and cardioprotective effects, provide a basis for studies of the unique class of pharmacological agents containing this metal.

Despite the progress in the knowledge of the pharmacological activity of certain metals and their complexes, further studies are still needed, as the mechanisms of action of the potential drugs containing metal ions are not yet sufficiently recognized. Moreover, the side-effects of the use of metal coordination compounds in the treatment of some diseases (mainly cancer) and resistance to treatment are serious problems in modern medicine. Therefore, there is a constant search for new therapeutics based on metal complexes that would ensure better treatment results and contribute to a significant slowdown in the progression of the disease. The therapeutic targets, bioavailability, and pharmacokinetics of metal-containing compounds must be clarified in detail with reference to metal-based drugs, which may guarantee potential clinical success.

We invite authors to submit original research papers or review articles on the pharmacological activity of metal coordination compounds with a focus on strategies to improve their pharmacological features and on links between metal-containing complexes and potential therapies of human pathologies with mechanistic analysis.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Current strategies for the synthesis of metal complexes and/or compounds with biological properties;
  • Methods of improvement to existing metal-based drugs in order to enhance their therapeutic potential;
  • Biological and pharmacological effects of new metal-containing complexes and/or compounds (in vitro/in vivo studies);
  • Metal coordination compounds in modern cancer therapy and in new strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Metal ligands in the biological activity of complexes;
  • Mechanisms of action of metal-containing compounds;
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of metal complexes;
  • Metal coordination compounds in laboratory diagnostics and clinical trials.

Due to the success of the first edition, we would like to add more results and new insights from recent research projects.


Dr. Agnieszka Scibior
Prof. Dr. Juan Llopis
Dr. Manuel Aureliano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metal complexes
  • polyoxometalates
  • biological activity
  • pharmacokinetic parameters
  • mechanistic analysis
  • cancer/neurodegenerative diseases
  • innovative strategies
  • laboratory diagnostics
  • clinical studies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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