BackgroundSulfonamides (sulfa drugs) and the metals like mercury, copper, and silver bear antimicrobial properties. The discovery of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as penicillins, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones has reduced their use. However, in some instances these drugs are the first-line treatment. The metal-based sulfonamide (e.g., silver sulfadiazine) is considered as first choice treatment in post-burn therapy while the use of silver nanoparticle-cephalexin conjugate to cure Escherichia coli infection explains the synergistic effect of sulfa drugs and their metal conjugates. With growing interest in metal-based sulfonamides and the Schiff base chemistry, it was decided to synthesize sulfonamide Schiff base metal complexes as antioxidant and antimicrobial agent.ResultsThe Fe (III), Ru (III), Co (II), Ni (II), Cu (II), Pd (II), Zn (II), Cd (II), and Hg (II) metal complexes of 4-((thiophen-2-ylmethylene)-amino)-benzenesulfonamide (TMABS) were prepared and studied for thermal stability, geometry, and other electronic properties. The ligand TMABS (Schiff base) and its metal complexes were screened in-vitro for 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging and antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive (+ve) Bacillus subtilis (MTCC-441), Staphylococcus aureus (MTCC 7443), Gram-negative (-ve) Escherichia coli (MTCC 40), Salmonella typhi (MTCC 3231), and fungal strains Aspergillus niger (MTCC-1344) and Penicillium rubrum by agar well diffusion method. Results summarized in Tables 3, 4, and 5 represent the inhibitory concentration (IC50) in micromole (μM). The zone of inhibition (ZI) in millimeter (mm) represents antimicrobial properties of TMABS and its metal complexes.ConclusionsThe synthesized sulfanilamide Schiff base (TMABS) behaved as a neutral and bidentate ligand coordinating with metal ions through its azomethine nitrogen and thiophene sulfur to give complexes with coordination number of 4 and 6 (Fig. 3). The nucleophilic addition of sulfanilamide amino group (–NH2) group to carbonyl carbon (>C=O) of benzaldehyde gave sulfanilamide Schiff base (imine) (Fig. 2). All the metal complexes were colored and stable at room temperature. With IC50 of 9.5 ± 0.1 and 10.0 ± 0.7 μM, the Co, Cu, and Pd complexes appeared better antioxidant than the ligand TMABS (155.3±0.1 μM). The zone of inhibition (ZI) of Hg (28 mm) and Ru complexes (20 mm) were similar to the ligand TMABS (20 mm) against Aspergillus niger (MTCC-1344) as in Figs. 4, 5, and 6. None of the synthesized derivatives had shown better antimicrobial properties than the standard streptomycin sulfate and fluconazole.