Metals in Therapy and Diagnosis
Metals in Therapy and Diagnosis

Research Group Capdevila ‒ Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

María Mercè Capdevila Vidal

Team leader


Our research is focused on the interaction of metal ions and metallic compounds with biomolecules (proteins, DNA, etc.) and of biomolecules between them (like the metallothionein/ferritin or metallothionein/hemocyanin couples), using different techniques, i.e. UV-vis absorption, circular dichroism, fluorescence, and mass spectrometry (ESI-MS, ICP-MS). Additionally, the evaluation of the cytotoxicity of metallic compounds and the mechanism of cellular death, as well as the cellular uptake and distribution of the metals, are also normal studies carried out in our group. We are also designing and preparing metal complexes (Pt, Ru and Cu) with putative anticancer activity, the main characteristic of which lays on the use of photosensitive ligands based on azobenzenes, able to modulate the reactivity of the metallic moiety simply by controlled irradiation.

Another research line is devoted to the preparation of target specific Tc-99m radiopharmaceuticals by functionalization of biomolecules. The homologous rhenium complexes are studied as structural models of technetium compounds and, in addition, this information is useful to the development of therapeutical Re-188 radiopharmaceuticals, according to the theranostic pair Tc-99m/Re-188.

Finally, we are developing “metalloliposomes”, which are supramolecular structures with arrangements very similar to those of liposomes but they contain metallic groups in the bilayer structure. Currently, we are working with metallosomes that can act as CO releasing molecules but we plan to use the same strategy for other therapeutical uses.


Research group members:

Óscar Palacios Bonilla, Joan Suades Ortuño

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1 January 2018: Adoración Gómez-Quiroga becomes the coordinator of the network


7 March 2017: Conchita Gimeno is one of the awardees of the IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry


14 october 2015: The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain finances the network

Ref: CTQ2015-70371-REDT

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