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Porous materials in medical devices: antibacterial, antithrombosis and wound healing agents

Ever since the discovery of the physiological action of nitric oxide (NO), and the subsequent award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998 for this work, there has been recognition of the potential utility of NO-based therapies.

A major hurdle to the development of NO therapies is how to store and deliver such a toxic gas safely. This question has been a significant obstacle to successfully translating NO research into the clinic. NO delivery could have a particular impact on cardiovascular catheters, where delivery of NO could mimic that produced by endothelial cells that line blood vessels, thereby reducing issues surrounding catheter-related bloodstream infections – a major cause of complication in cardiovascular interventions.  
Russell Morris has developed toxicologically well-understood porous materials (zeolites) that could be used to absorb, store and deliver NO in biologically relevant quantities at controllable rates. The key selling points for the technology are that the NO storage materials are shelf stable (five years and up) until exposed to a trigger which can deliver the gas, and that this delivery can be tailored (both total dose and rate of delivery) making it suitable for several different therapeutic applications.

This technology has been licensed to US-based PQ Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of speciality silica-based materials and part of the Carlyle group of companies.