During the past few decades, the potential of treating infections with nitric oxide (NO) has been firmly demonstrated in various laboratories. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have afforded promising results in terms of reducing microbial loads in chronic wounds in addition to its utility in keeping medical devices free of thrombus formation and bacterial adhesion. The latter antimicrobial effects of NO provide great help in successful integration of orthopedic and vascular implants and prolonging their in vivo life. In all such applications, NO is released from various polymeric materials in which nitrite salts, exogenous NO donors, or even simple NO(g) are incorporated. Recent developments in all such formulations of NO-releasing materials and their specific applications in combating bacteria, fungi and parasites are reviewed in this article.
Keywords: Nitric oxide (NO), infection, wounds, antimicrobial, platelet adhesion, antithrombic, NO donors, polymers, NOreleasing
material, metal nitrosyls.
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