The application of click chemistry to develop libraries of organometallic ruthenium-arene complexes with potential anticancer properties has been investigated. A series of ruthenium-imidazole-triazole complexes, with hydrophobic tails, were prepared from a common precursor via click chemistry. The tail could be attached to the ligand prior to coordination to the ruthenium complex or following coordination, the former giving the product in superior yield. The complexes were screened for cytotoxicity in tumourigenic and non-tumourigenic cell lines, and while the compounds were only moderately cytotoxic, good selectivity for tumourigenic cells was observed. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.