Navigation Links
Chemistry turns killer gas into potential cure

Despite its deadly reputation, the gas carbon monoxide (CO) could actually save lives and boost health in future as a result of leading-edge UK research.

Chemists at the University of Sheffield have discovered an innovative way of using targeted small doses of CO which could benefit patients who have undergone heart surgery or organ transplants and people suffering from high blood pressure.

Although the gas is lethal in large doses, small amounts can reduce inflammation, widen blood vessels, increase blood flow, prevent unwanted blood clotting and even suppress the activity of cells and macrophages* which attack transplanted organs. The researchers have developed innovative water-soluble molecules which, when swallowed or injected, safely release small amounts of CO inside the human body.

Research carried out in the last decade had already highlighted possible advantages, as CO is produced in the body as part of its own natural defensive systems. However, the problem has been finding a safe way of delivering the right dose of CO to the patient. Conventional CO inhalation can run the risk of patients or medical staff being accidentally exposed to high doses. Now for the first time, thanks to chemistry, an answer appears to have been found.

The new CO-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) have been developed in partnership with Dr Roberto Motterlini at Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research (NPIMR) and with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The molecules dissolve in water, so they can be made available in an easy-to-ingest, liquid form that quickly passes into the bloodstream, says Professor Brian Mann, from the University's Department of Chemistry, who led the research. As well as making it simple to control how much CO is introduced into a patients body, it will be possible to refine the design of the molecules so that they target a particular place while leaving the rest of the body unaffected.

The CO-RMs consist of carbonyls** of metals such as ruthenium, iron and manganese which are routinely used in clinical treatments. They can be designed to release CO over a period of between 30 minutes and several hours, depending on what is required to treat a particular medical condition.

As well as boosting survival rates and cutting recovery times, the new molecules could ease pressure on hospital budgets by reducing the time that patients need to spend in hospital, for example after an operation. They could even help some patients to avoid going into hospital in the first place.

Professor Mann added: This project provides an excellent example of how non-biological sciences like chemistry can underpin important advances in healthcare.

hemoCORM Ltd, a spinout company set up in 2004 by the University of Sheffield and NPIMR, is now taking the research towards commercialisation. It is hoped that, after further development work, Phase 1 clinical trials can begin in around two years, with deployment in the healthcare sector potentially achievable in around five years.


Contact: Natasha Richardson
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Related biology news :

1. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
2. Breakthrough in micro-device fabrication combines biology and synthetic chemistry
3. Male elephants woo females with precise chemistry
4. Computer-chemistry yields new insight into a puzzle of cell division
5. Precision biochemistry tracks DNA damage in fish
6. Smoking changes brain chemistry
7. Comments, experts and background on the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry
8. New brain-chemistry differences found in depressed women
9. Lack of enzyme turns fat cells into fat burners
10. Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers
11. Gene therapy turns off mutation linked to Parkinsons disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., ... U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation products, ... Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has ... preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis ... and prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- In the present market scenario, security is one ... verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic gadgets, and ... secure & simplified access control and growing rate of ... bank accounts, misuse of users, , and so on. ... and smartphones are expected to provide potential opportunities for ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. ... Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and a ... announced the launch of its latest version of the ... enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing ... S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Technical Program that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral ... chemistry and applied spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... MUMBAI , November 26, 2015 ... --> Accutest Research ... accredited Contract Research Organization (CRO), has ... Chase Cancer Center - Temple Health ... ,     (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes ... maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing ... long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as ... technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ... entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque ... . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle voie ... efficace de l,un des problèmes de santé les ...    --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d ...
Breaking Biology Technology: