Definition of ligand in English:

ligand

noun

Chemistry
  • 1An ion or molecule attached to a metal atom by coordinate bonding.

    • ‘Furthermore, the molecular arrangement of the three citrate ligands allows the possible introduction of other catalytic metal centres.’
    • ‘This binding affinity is related to free enthalpy of the formation of the product of metal and ligand.’
    • ‘The bonding between the ligand and the metal ion is intermediate between covalent and electrostatic.’
    • ‘Ligand field theory, like crystal field theory, concentrates on what happens when ligands split the central metal atom's inner orbitals.’
    • ‘Special care was taken to include all the hydrogen bonds between the zinc ligands and the surrounding residues.’
    1. 1.1Biochemistry A molecule that binds to another (usually larger) molecule.
      • ‘They are also biocompatible, and their surfaces can be modified to attach antibodies or other ligands that could be used to target the nanoparticles to specific tissues.’
      • ‘Drugs can be encapsulated into or adsorbed onto the particles, along with cell-specific ligands that can home in on a clinical target.’
      • ‘Steric clashes between the ligand and protein atoms were alleviated with several minimization cycles in vacuum.’
      • ‘Inside the human body, there are mu, Kappa, and delta opiate receptors, to which the enkephalins and endorphins bind as ligands.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen if the surface of the micelle can be used to target macromolecules or ligands of interest, in order to penetrate cells and pinpoint their constituents.’

Origin

1950s: from Latin ligandus ‘that can be tied’, gerundive of ligare ‘to bind’.

Pronunciation

ligand

/ˈlɪɡ(ə)nd/