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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Sep;88(2):401-7. doi: 10.1007/s00253-010-2733-x. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide and its application in antimicrobial formulations and medical devices.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.


This review describes the antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide (NO) and its application as an antimicrobial agent in different formulations and medical devices. We depict the eukaryotic biosynthesis of NO and its physiologic functions as a cell messenger and as an antimicrobial agent of the cell-mediated immune response. We analyze the antimicrobial activity of NO and the eukaryotic protective mechanisms against NO for the purpose of delineating the therapeutic NO dosage range required for an efficacious and safe antimicrobial activity. We also examine the role of NO produced by virulent bacteria in lessening the efficacy of traditional antimicrobials. In addition, we discuss the efficacy of NO in the healing of infected wounds, describing different NO-producing devices by category, analyzing therapeutic levels, duration of NO production, as well as commercial considerations. Finally, we provide current and future prospects for the design and use of NO-producing devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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