Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Chemistry turns killer gas into potential cure

During Carbon Monoxide Awareness week, EPSRC highlights how researchers are harnessing the gas for beneficial use

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.

... more about:
»CHEMISTRY »Hospital »blood

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 patient’s 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.

Natasha Richardson | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: CHEMISTRY Hospital blood

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Strong, steady forces at work during cell division
20.10.2016 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Disturbance wanted
20.10.2016 | Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>