Background: Nitric oxide (NO) plays important regulatory roles in a plethora of biological
functions and thus holds tremendous potential to be exploited for clinical uses. However, the chemistries
in the molecular design of nano-nitric oxide delivery systems is currently lacking.
Objective: The overarching aim of this review is to provide the readers with the fundamentals that relate
to the design of NO release molecules (NORMs), loading and releasing mechanism, as well as delivery
of NORMs for nanotherapeutics.
Methods: We conducted a thorough literature search on the design and synthesis of NORMs, as well as
the current state-of-the-art NO compatible delivery platforms to address various clinical needs.
Results: N-diazeniumdiolate and S-nitrosothiol based NO molecules are among the most widely used
NORMs for anti-cancer and anti-microbial applications. The innovative integration of these NORMs
with cytocompatible organic and inorganic nanocarriers enabled controlled spatiotemporal delivery and
release of NO at the targeted diseased sites.
Conclusion: We have provided a comprehensive summary of the fundamental chemistries underpinning
the molecular design of the NORMs and critically assessed the recent advancements of nano-NO delivery
systems for advanced biomedical applications.