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Published February 7, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Exploring the cellular accumulation of metal complexes


Transition metal complexes offer great potential as diagnostic and therapeutic agents, and a growing number of biological applications have been explored. To be effective, these complexes must reach their intended target inside the cell. Here we review the cellular accumulation of metal complexes, including their uptake, localization, and efflux. Metal complexes are taken up inside cells through various mechanisms, including passive diffusion and entry through organic and metal transporters. Emphasis is placed on the methods used to examine cellular accumulation, to identify the mechanism(s) of uptake, and to monitor possible efflux. Conjugation strategies that have been employed to improve the cellular uptake characteristics of metal complexes are also described.

Additional Information

© 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 23rd October 2009; accepted 11th November 2009; first published as an Advance Article on the web 23rd December 2009. Financial support for this work from the National Institutes of Health (Grant GM33309 to J.K.B.) is acknowledged.

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023