Department of Chemistry, KU Leuven, Belgium

Welcome to the Laboratory of Bioinorganic Chemistry at KU Leuven, Belgium! Bioinorganic is not a contradiction of terms, as metals play an essential role in many biological processes, and are often found in the active sites of enzymes that catalyse a range of different reactions.

A surprising number of therapeutic drugs also contain metals.
In our group we exploit metal complexes as potential contrast agents for medical imaging and also as catalysts for hydrolysis of biologically active molecules.


The major line of research involves the design of polyoxometalate complexes (POMs) as catalysts for important biological reactions, notably the hydrolysis of phosphoester bonds in DNA, peptide bonds in proteins and peptides, and glycosidic bonds in glycoproteins. The second main research topic aims to design, develop, and characterise novel lanthanide based complexes and nanoparticles with favourable magnetic and optical properties. The longer term objective is to create new therapeutic contrast agents for bimodal optical and magnetic resonance imaging.