A newly developed group of plastics that release nitric oxide (NO) - a molecule that influences body functions may have broad uses in medicine as reported in April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Some of the materials continuously release small amounts of NO for months. NO dilates blood vessels and has other actions suggesting that it could reduce undesirable effects such as blood vessel scaring and narrowing that tend to occur after coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery.
In experiments with laboratory rats, the researchers showed that a NO-releasing polymer applied after balloon angioplasty, reduced formation of scar tissue in the artery. Possible applications of these polymers include arterial stenting, bypass grafting and surgical endarterectomy.