1
$\begingroup$

I’m interested if atoms or ions can for a metallic bond inside the human body?

I’m talking about a metallic bond as described here: https://www.britannica.com/science/metallic-bond

So I’m thinking of a metallic bond where the valence electrons of the atoms or ions are not associated with specific atoms or ions of the metallic bond. My understanding is that this is described as a sea of electrons.

If such a metallic bond can not form inside the human body, I would be very interested in the reason why. Thank you very much.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Umm... pierced earrings? Spinal fusion hardware? Gold dusted food? observer.com/2017/12/… $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Sep 2 '20 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232296 $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh Sep 3 '20 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ If you zoom in on a metallic bond, you’ll realise that it is ultimately identical to a covalent bond at atomic levels. That said, the question is how do you define form? Do metallic solids get created de novo within a body? Likely not – due to the absence of starting materials and reaction pathways. Can metallic solids exist within a body? Absolutely! $\endgroup$ – Jan Sep 3 '20 at 7:41
2
$\begingroup$

We may not produce nails from our bodies, but certain enzymes and proteins do involve metal clusters, especially clusters involving iron [1]. In the natural biomolecules iron-iron and iron-nickel compounds serve as functional groups for electron transfer. Also discussed are iron-sulfur clusters, which have characteristics similar to all-metal clusters despite sulfur usually being considered a nonmetal. Chemists have sought to mimic these natural cluster compounds with artificial molecules, not only using iron and nickel but also moving on to less common metals such as molybdenum and ruthenium.

Reference

1. C. Fehl C and B.G. Davis, "Proteins as templates for complex synthetic metalloclusters: towards biologically programmed heterogeneous catalysis.", Proc. R. Soc. A 472: 20160078. (2016) Link

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.