Table of Contents
International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Volume 2012, Article ID 121540, 13 pages
Research Article

Novel Nonsymmetrically p-Benzyl-Substituted (Benz)imidazole N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Silver(I) Acetate Complexes: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation

Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB), UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Received 24 November 2011; Accepted 11 January 2012

Academic Editor: Alfonso Castiñeiras

Copyright © 2012 Frauke Hackenberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonsymmetrically substituted N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) precursors 1ad and 3ad were synthesised by first reacting 1H-(benz)imidazole with p-cyanobenzyl bromide to give 4-(1H-imidazole-1-ylmethyl)benzonitrile (1) and 4-(1H-benzimidazole-1-ylmethyl)benzonitrile (3) and afterwards introducing benzyl bromide, 1-(bromomethyl)-4-methylbenzene, 1-(bromomethyl)-4-methoxybenzene, and methyl 4-(bromomethyl)benzoate. The NHC-silver(I) acetate complexes (1-benzyl-3-(4-cyanobenzyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-imidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (2a), (1-(4-cyanobenzyl)-3-(4-methylbenzyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-imidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (2b), (1-(4-cyanobenzyl)-3-[4-(methoxycarbonyl)benzyl]-2,3-dihydro-1H-imidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (2c), (1-benzyl-3-(4-cyanobenzyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-benzimidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (4a), (1-(4-cyanobenzyl)-3-(4-methylbenzyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-benzimidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (4b), (1-(4-cyanobenzyl)-3-(4-methoxybenzyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-benzimidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (4c), and (1-(4-cyanobenzyl)-3-[4-(methoxycarbonyl)benzyl]-2,3-dihydro-1H-benzimidazole-2-ylidene) silver(I) acetate (4d) were yielded by reacting these NHC precursors with silver(I) acetate. The silver(I) acetate complex 4b was characterised by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Preliminary in vitro antibacterial studies against the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method, were carried out on the seven NHC-silver(I) acetate complexes 2ac and 4ad. Also the IC50 values of these seven complexes were determined by an MTT-based assay against the human renal cancer cell line Caki-1. The complexes 2ac and 4ac revealed the following IC50 values, respectively, 25 (±1), 15 (±2), 5.4 (±0.8), 16 (±2), 7.1 (±1), 20 (±4), and 14 (±1) μM.