Metal of The Month: Titanium

Titanium has symbol Ti and atomic number 22

It is again the time for the Metal of The Month, which today is Titanium, a ‘British’ element discovered in Cornwall in 1791 by reverend William Gregor.

Titanium is a very light silvery transition metal, strong and resistant to corrosion. Its physical properties must have inspired the name which is a tribute to the Titans of the Greek mythology, sons of the Earth goddess.

Titanium is often used for dental implants

As you probably already know, titanium has many uses and applications in our everyday life. Each year we use about 4 millions of tons of TiO2, the oxide form of titanium, and most of it is used for paint, for food confectionary or as a whitener in toothpaste. It is found in jewelry, in watches, sport equipment, and it’s used for dental implants and joint replacements.

Titanium is almost everywhere. It also contributed to the elegant design of the Gugghenheim museum in Bilbao, a spectacular mix of stone, glass and titanium. It is indeed the titanium cladding that makes of this building the shiny and impressive work of contemporary architecture that we can admire today.

Interestingly, Titanocene Dichloride is a titanum-based compound with great potential as chemotherapy drug and was the first non-platinum compound to undergo clinical trial. The current research focuses now on the properties and mechanisms of action of this drug.

Titanium cladding used for the exterior of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain. Image credit:©Pedrosala/

Do you want to know more about titanium? Take a look at the article below and discover all about titanium research. These papers will be free to read until April 19th.

You can also take a look at the RSC Visual Element Periodic Table, and the Chemistry in its Element podcast.

And if you work in the area of titanium biology, we hope you will consider submitting your next paper to Metallomics.

 Titanocene anticancer complexes and their binding mode of action to human serum albumin: A computational study
Susan W. Sarsam ,  David R. Nutt ,  Katja Strohfeldt and Kimberly A. Watson
Metallomics, 2011,3, 152-161
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00041H

Titanium is used in sport equipment

Titanium preferential binding sites in human serum transferrin at physiological concentrations
Yoana Nuevo-Ordoñez ,  M. Montes-Bayón ,  E. Blanco González and A. Sanz-Medel
Metallomics, 2011,3, 1297-1303
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00109D 

Effects of titanium(IV) ions on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells
Erwin PH Chan ,  Amir Mhawi ,  Peta Clode ,  Martin Saunders and Luis Filgueira
Metallomics, 2009,1, 166-174
DOI: 10.1039/B820871A

Pseudo-halide derivatives of titanocene Y: synthesis and cytotoxicity studies
James Claffey ,  Anthony Deally ,  Brendan Gleeson ,  Megan Hogan ,  Luis Miguel Menéndez Méndez ,  Helge Müller-Bunz ,  Siddappa Patil ,  Denise Wallis and Matthias Tacke
Metallomics, 2009,1, 511-517
DOI: 10.1039/B911753A

All images are courtesy of ©Shutterstock.

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