Recent advances in gold–NHC complexes with biological properties
This tutorial review covers the recent advances made in the study of gold complexes containing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands with biological properties. The great stability, ease of modulation of the electronic properties and excellent σ-donating capacity displayed by NHCs allow gold–NHC derivatives to reach high stability in biological media and relatively good internalization into cells and for that they have emerged as excellent potential chemotherapeutics. The new gold–NHC derivatives show superior anticancer activity compared to other standards such as Cisplatin or Auranofin. In addition, the application of gold–NHC complexes in the treatment of other human diseases as antibacterial, antioxidant and antiparasitic agents is reviewed for the first time.