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Issue 5, 2010
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Exploring the cellular accumulation of metal complexes

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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.

Graphical abstract: Exploring the cellular accumulation of metal complexes

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The article was received on 23 Oct 2009, accepted on 11 Nov 2009 and first published on 23 Dec 2009

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B922209J
Dalton Trans., 2010,39, 1159-1170

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    Exploring the cellular accumulation of metal complexes

    C. A. Puckett, R. J. Ernst and J. K. Barton, Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 1159
    DOI: 10.1039/B922209J

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