Biological activity
In pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

, biological activity or pharmacological activity describes the beneficial or adverse effects of a drug
A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.In pharmacology, a...

 on living matter
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

. When a drug is a complex chemical mixture, this activity is exerted by the substance's active ingredient
Active ingredient
An active ingredient is the substance of a pharmaceutical drug or a pharmaceutical ingredient and bulk active in medicine; in pesticide formulations active substance may be used. Some medications and pesticide products may contain more than one active ingredient...

 or pharmacophore
thumb|right|300px|An example of a pharmacophore model.A pharmacophore is an abstract description of molecular features which are necessary for molecular recognition of a ligand by a biological macromolecule....

 but can be modified by the other constituents. Activity is generally dosage
Effective dose
Effective dose may refer to:*Effective dose the dose of pharmacologic agent which will have a therapeutic effect in some fraction of the population receiving the drug...

-dependent and it is not uncommon to have effects ranging from beneficial to adverse
for one substance when going from low to high doses. Activity depends critically on fulfillment of the ADME
ADME is an acronym in pharmacokinetics and pharmacology for absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, and describes the disposition of a pharmaceutical compound within an organism...


Whereas a material is considered bioactive if it has interaction with or effect on any cell tissue
Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

 in the human body
Human body
The human body is the entire structure of a human organism, and consists of a head, neck, torso, two arms and two legs.By the time the human reaches adulthood, the body consists of close to 100 trillion cells, the basic unit of life...

, pharmacological activity is usually taken to describe beneficial effects, i.e. the effects of drug candidates. The main kind of biological activity is a substance's toxicity
Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage a living or non-living organisms. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell or an organ , such as the liver...


In the study of biomineralisation
Biomineralization is the process by which living organisms produce minerals, often to harden or stiffen existing tissues. Such tissues are called mineralized tissues. It is an extremely widespread phenomenon; all six taxonomic kingdoms contain members that are able to form minerals, and over 60...

, bioactivity is often meant as the formation of calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate is the name given to a family of minerals containing calcium ions together with orthophosphates , metaphosphates or pyrophosphates and occasionally hydrogen or hydroxide ions ....

 deposits on the surface of objects placed in simulated body fluid, a buffer solution
Buffer solution
A buffer solution is an aqueous solution consisting of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base or a weak base and its conjugate acid. It has the property that the pH of the solution changes very little when a small amount of strong acid or base is added to it. Buffer solutions are used as a...

 with ion content similar to blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....


See also

  • Lipinski's Rule of Five
    Lipinski's Rule of Five
    Lipinski's Rule of Five is a rule of thumb to evaluate druglikeness or determine if a chemical compound with a certain pharmacological or biological activity has properties that would make it a likely orally active drug in humans. The rule was formulated by Christopher A...

    , describing molecular properties of drugs
  • QSAR, quantitative structure-activity relationship
  • Chemical property
    Chemical property
    A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity...

  • Molecular property
    Molecular property
    Molecular properties include the chemical properties, physical properties, and structural properties of molecules, including drugs. Molecular properties typically do not include pharmacological or biological properties of a chemical compound.- See also :...

  • Physical property
    Physical property
    A physical property is any property that is measurable whose value describes a physical system's state. The changes in the physical properties of a system can be used to describe its transformations ....

  • Chemical structure
    Chemical structure
    A chemical structure includes molecular geometry, electronic structure and crystal structure of molecules. Molecular geometry refers to the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule and the chemical bonds that hold the atoms together. Molecular geometry can range from the very simple, such as...

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