Organotin polyethers are easily synthesized employing interfacial polymerization systems involving the reaction of hydroxyl-containing Lewis bases and organotin halides. A wide variety of organotin-containing polymeric products have been synthesized including those derived from natural and synthetic polymers such as lignin, xylan, cellulose, dextran, and poly(vinyl alcohol). Others have been synthesized employing known drug diols such as dicumarol, DES, and dienestrol and a wide variety of synthetic diols. Included in these materials are the first water soluble organotin polymers. The organotin polyethers exhibit a wide range of biological activities. Some selectively inhibit a number of unwanted bacteria, including Staph. MRSA
, and unwanted yeasts such as Candida albicans
. Some also inhibit a variety of viruses including those responsible for herpes infections and smallpox. Others show good inhibition of a wide variety of cancer cell lines including cell lines associated with ovarian, colon, lung, prostrate, pancreatic and breast cancer. The synthesis, structural characterization, and biological characterization of these materials is described in this review.