Bioinorganic Chemistry

Module code: CH4208

The field of bioorganic chemistry is the fusion of biochemistry and inorganic chemistry. It has a large number of real-world applications in areas such as medical science and environmental chemistry. In this module, you'll explore it in much more depth than you may have previously.

During this module, you'll investigate the occurrence and function of metals and non-metals in biological systems. This will include looking at the transport and storage of oxygen and electron transport processes.

You'll also examine metalloproteins - proteins that contain a metal ion cofactor. This will include looking at how to apply spectroscopic and kinetic techniques to metalloproteins to extract quantitative information on mechanisms of electron transfer and catalysis. You'll also learn how metal ion substitution and the study of model compounds can aid the understanding of complex metalloproteins.

You'll have the chance to study various anti-cancer therapies, such as the use of platinum compounds and photodynamic therapy (PDT). You'll investigate the chemistry behind, and principles of, these methods, and assess the design features of potential agents. You'll explore the limitations of magnetic resonance imaging and how to overcome them. Plus, you'll also learn about how to use radioisotopes for diagnostic imaging and as therapeutic agents.

By the end of this module, you'll be able to conclude the suitability of a given metal complex/ligand system for particular diagnostic/therapeutic applications.


  • 22 hours of lectures
  • 128 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (25%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (75%)