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Activity 9.2 gives you the opportunity to read an overview of this subject, again from the opening chapter of (Jones and Thornback, 2007), pages 6–14, then answer the following questions.The complete book can be accessed through the RSC e Book collection, however this extract is also available as a PDF file by clicking on the following link: Extract for Activity 9.2 When a drug is injected intravenously into the body, the drug is injected directly into the bloodstream.There are also reports of gold-based medicines being used in China and Arabia around 2500 BC.Gold has also been used in dentistry; excavated graves in Italy dating from 1000 to 400 BC were found to have skulls containing gold bridges.
The medicinal use of arsenic sulfides was described by the ancient physician Hippocrates; however, it was in the 18th century that it became popular, prescribed as ‘Dr Fowler’s solution’, a mixture of potassium arsenite and lavender water.
Metals and their compounds have been used for medical applications throughout history and it is interesting here to take a brief look at some of the milestones.
Some of the earliest examples date from as far back as 3000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians were using copper sulfate to sterilise the water used in their tonics.
Intensive research in this area has since spawned the development of other metal complexes for cancer therapy.
It was the 20th century that also saw a growth in the use of radioactive metals to treat certain types of cancers, such as bone cancer. The complete book can be accessed through the RSC e Book collection, however this extract is also available as a PDF file by clicking on the following link: Extract for Activity 9.1 As you have seen in this brief introduction the number of metal-containing compounds that have found use as therapeutic and diagnostic agents for medical applications is ever expanding, and it will not be possible in a single chapter to discuss the chemistry of all of these in detail.