Document Type


Date of Award



Rheumatoid arthritis, Cysteine, Ionization constants, Chelates, Penicillin

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bruce McDuffie

Second Advisor

Gilbert E. Janauer

Third Advisor

Lawrence Verbit


Basic chemical data are lacking on drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. These data are necessary for a better understanding of the mode of action of the drugs.

The acid dissociation constant values of penicillamine, cysteine, thiomalic acid and thioglucose have been measured at 20° and 37°C all at ionic strength of 0.15. These results were then used to determine metal complex formation constants of these ligands with the metals calcium(II), iron(III) and gold(I) by potentiometric titration using a standard glass and calomel reference electrode to determine hydrogen ion activity in solution. The results were treated with the computer program SCOGS which is capable of resolving multiple metal ligand solutions. Two competing ligands were employed in some cases because of the unavailability of the particular gold(I) complexes and also because of the instability of the thioglucose iron(III) system. A total of 20 new formation constants were determined.

The constants obtained were discussed with respect to the effect of temperature, structure, and relative stability of the complexes. Implications for bioavailability of the various complexes have also been considered.