Subject: Bioinorganic Chemistry

Scientific Area:



64 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - This course aims to provide the students with the scientific basis of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry to understand the role of metals in biological systems.
2 - At the same time, the student is expected to understand the importance of this knowledge for the development of society, namely in the biomedical field.
3 - The skills/competences to be developed by the student include the ability to study autonomously, critical thinking, teamwork, the search/use of scientific information, and the communication of science in written and oral form.


1 - The origin of life and chemical elements essential to living systems.
2 - Acid-base reactions and non-aqueous solvents, 2.1. Acid-base reactions, 2.2. Non-aqueous inorganic solvents.
3 - Coordination Chemistry, 3.1. Introduction, 3.2. Definition of complex, 3.3 Kinetics and thermodynamics stability, 3.4 IUPAC Nomenclature rules, 3.5 Coordination numbers, and most common structures, 3.6 Isomerism in coordination compounds, 3.7 Coordination centers and ligands, 3.8 Modern theories of the chemical bonding in coordination compounds, 3.9 Electronic Spectra and magnetic properties.
4 - Reactivity and reaction mechanism of coordination compounds, 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Ligand substitution reactions, 4.3. Substitution reactions in square planar complexes, 4.4. Substitution reactions in octahedral complexes, 4.5. d-d and charge transfer reactions.
5 - Introduction to Organometallic and Biorganometallic Chemistry, 5.1. Fundamental concepts 5.2. Importance of the Organometallic Chemistry in Bioinorganic Chemistry 5.3. Structure and bonding in organometallic compounds, 5.4. Main reaction mechanisms, 5.5 Properties and reactions of main ligands (e.g., carbonyl ligand, hydrides, halides, etc.), 5.6. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.
6 - Bioinorganic Chemistry, 6.1. Pollution and metal toxicity, 6.2. Chemical elements essential to living systems, 6.3. Classification of metallobiomolecules (metalloproteins and/or metalloenzymes), 6.4. Metallobiomolecules with electron, metal, and oxygen transport functions, 6.5 Redox and non-redox metallobioenzymes, 6.6. Therapeutic uses of coordination compounds.
7 - LABORATORY WORK (examples), A. Preparation of stannic iodide (SnI4) and its complex with triphenylphosphine, the tetraiodobis(triphenylphosphane)tin(IV), SnI4 (PPh3)2, B. Determination of the field parameter in chromium (III) complexes, C. Preparation of saccharin complexes with metals D. Spectroscopic characterization.


C. E. Housecroft, A. G. Sharpe , 2018 , Inorganic Chemistry-1 , Pearson
G. L. Miessler, P. Fischer, D. A. Tarr , 2014 , Inorganic Chemistry-3 , Prentice Hall
D. F. Shriver, P. W. Atkins e C. H. Langford , 2014 , Inorganic Chemistry-1 , Oxford University Press
R. M. Roat-Malone, , 2020 , Bioinorganic Chemistry - a short course , John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
This curricular unit has 64 hours of contact between the teacher and the students, which are divided into 40 hours for theory, and 24h for lab classes. The lectures will be given with the help of audiovisual media and a blackboard, with the teacher maintaining a permanent dialogue with the students (asking and answering questions). The material used for lectures and exercises will be made available to students through the course web page. Evaluation: Theory evaluation (70%): Two tests (minimum score in each test: 9.5) Laboratory evaluation (30%): Pre-report + questions (30%); Oral presentation (15%); Performance (30%); Final Report - treatment of results (25%). The final approval is dependent on achieving a minimum score of 9.5 in each evaluation component (theory and laboratory).