Nanoparticles deliver nitric oxide after bleeding trauma

Nitric oxide has been used for years in breathing gas as a way to relax blood vessels and keep blood flowing for patients in hospitals. In battlefield situations, however, it might not be practical to carry the gas tanks and ventilators to deliver the therapy over a stretch of time.

Nanoparticles were designed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York to be loaded with nitric oxide as a new way to provide sustained delivery of the therapy in such situations, according to a release. The nanoparticles were contained in a saline solution and infused into hamsters that had lost half of their blood. A paper about the group's research--published in the Feb. 21 online edition of Resuscitation--said that the hamsters treated with the nanoparticles had better blood flow and heart rates than the animals that received the saline injections without the nanoparticles.

The release says that the nanoparticle therapy is being investigated to treat "massive human blood loss" in field situations. Hemorrhagic shock, which can result from such blood loss, is best treated with infusions of refrigerated blood and other fluids that can be difficult to deliver in battlefield or mass-casualty situations in remote areas. Nitric oxide treatment requires sustained delivery because the gas is short-lived in the body, according to the release.

"Our nanoparticle therapy may offer the potential for saving lives in those situations," Joel Friedman, a professor of physiology and medicine at Albert Einstein, said in the release. "It's lightweight and compact and doesn't require refrigeration."

- here's the release
- check out Resuscitation paper abstract