New paper in Chemistry – A European Journal!

The articleExploring the Role of Metal in the Biointeraction of Metallacarboranes with C. elegans Embryos” has been published in Chemistry – A European Journal!

NN group members Amanda Muñoz and Anna Laromaine have published this collaboration with the Inorganic Materials & Catalysis group of ICMAB. In this article they have evaluated how metallacarborane metal (iron or cobalt) can affect biointeraction with C. elegans. For this purpose, they have evaluated these molecules in C. elegans embryos to see how they interact with the complex coat that protects this embryo and thus compare the studies with the previously published evaluation of these molecules in the larval L4 to adult stage.


Cobaltabis(dicarbollides), ferrabis(dicarbollide), and their halogenated derivatives are the most studied metallacarboranes with great medical potential. These versatile compounds and their iodinated derivatives can be used in chemotherapy, radiotherapy, particle therapy, and bioimaging when isotopes are used. These metallacarboranes have been evaluated in vitro and recently in vivo with complex animal models. Lately, these studies have been complemented using the invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a nematode largely used in toxicology. When evaluated at the L4 stage, cobaltabis(dicarbollides), ([o-COSAN] and [8,8’-I2o-COSAN]), exhibited a higher mean lethal dose (LD50) than ferrabis(dicarbollides) ([o-FESAN] and [8,8’-I2o-FESAN]). In this work, we used the C. elegans embryos since they are a complex biological barrier with concentric layers of polysaccharides and proteins that protect them from the environment. We assessed if the metal atom changes their biointeraction with the C. elegans embryos. First, we assessed the effects on embryo development for metallacarboranes and their di-iodinated derivatives. We observed changes in color and in their surface structure. An exhaustive physicochemical characterization was performed to understand better this interaction, revealing a stronger interaction of ferrabis(dicarbollide) compounds with C. elegans embryos than the cobaltabis(dicarbollide) molecules. Unveiling the biological interaction of these compounds is of great interest for their future biomedical applications.

Amanda Muñoz, Anna Laromaine, C. elegans, embryos, metallacarborane metal, toxicology