Pharmaceutisch Weekblad

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 259–266 | Cite as

A study of the metal complexation behaviour of some penicillins, cephalosporins and their derivatives

  • P. C. van Krimpen
  • W. P. van Bennekom
  • A. Bult
Original Articles


The metal complexation behaviour of several β-lactam antibiotics and derivatives is explained, based on the results of potentiometric titrations. The (organo)metal ions used were (organic derivatives of) transition elements and elements with a filledd-subshell. The emphatic class b (organo)metal ions Ag(I), Hg(II) and C6H5Hg(I) form the most stable complexes with the studied ligands: Hg(II) is the most suited ion. The alkaline degradation products and hydroxamic acid derivatives of penicillins and cephalosporins are very similar to penicillamine in their complexation behaviour. This emphasizes the dominant role of the thiol group as site of complexation. A scheme for stepwise complex formation with Hg(II) and Ag(I) is presented. The availability of the thiol group is used to explain small differences in complexation behaviour between penicillin derivatives on the one hand, and cephalosporin derivatives and penicillamine on the other.


Cephalosporins Complexation Hydroxamic acids Metals Penicillamine Penicillins Potentiometry 


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Copyright information

© Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. van Krimpen
    • 1
  • W. P. van Bennekom
    • 1
  • A. Bult
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Faculty of PharmacyState University of UtrechtGH Utrechtthe Netherlands

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