Scientists in Texas are reporting development of a first-of-its-kind cloth that releases nitric oxide gas — an advance towards making therapeutic socks for people with diabetes and a wrap to help preserve organs harvested for transplantation. The study is covered in Chemistry of Materials, a bi-weekly journal from ACS.
Kenneth Balkus and Harvey Liu note in the new study that nitric oxide (NO) helps increase blood flow and regulates a range of other body functions. Scientists have tried for years to find practical ways to store and deliver NO for use in medicine. However, they have had difficulty finding a suitable material that allows for controlling delivery of the gas.
Recent studies suggested that porous materials like zeolites could work, and in experiments with laboratory rats, the bandage has slowly released nitric oxide and increased blood flow.