Selective, tailored chelators are of importance in medicine for the treatment of metal intoxication, or to stabilise metal cations in diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals and paramagnetic contrast agents. In this report, the co-ordination chemistry of polyamines, polyalcohols, and polyamino-polyalcohols is examined and some general prerequisites for a successful design of tailored chelators are summarised. The metal binding properties of 1,3,5-triamino-1,3,5-trideoxy-cis-inositol (taci), a rigid, cyclohexane-based polyamino-polyalcohol, are reviewed. Concepts for the design of selective chelators which are based on the taci structure are presented, and the potential of such ligands for medical applications is briefly discussed.
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