Background: Polyoxometalates (POMs) are negatively charged metal-oxo clusters of
early transition metal ions in high oxidation states (e.g., WVI, MoVI, VV). POMs are of interest in
the fields of catalysis, electronics, magnetic materials and nanotechnology. Moreover, POMs were
shown to exhibit biological activities in vitro and in vivo, such as antitumor, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic.
Methods: The literature search for this peer-reviewed article was performed using PubMed and
Scopus databases with the help of appropriate keywords.
Results: This review gives a comprehensive overview of recent studies regarding biological activities
of polyoxometalates, and their biomedical applications as promising anti-viral, anti-bacterial,
anti-tumor, and anti-diabetic agents. Additionally, their putative mechanisms of action and molecular
targets are particularly considered.
Conclusion: Although a wide range of biological activities of Polyoxometalates (POMs) has been
reported, they are to the best of our knowledge not close to a clinical trial or a final application in
the treatment of diabetes or infectious and malignant diseases. Accordingly, further studies should
be directed towards determining the mechanism of POM biological actions, which would enable
fine-tuning at the molecular level, and consequently efficient action towards biological targets and
as low toxicity as possible. Furthermore, biomedical studies should be performed on solutionstable
POMs employing physiological conditions and concentrations.