Porous material use in the delivery of biologically active gases

Research Policy Office
Friday 20 February 2015

Nitric oxide (NO) is an extremely toxic gas at high levels which is extremely beneficial for healthcare at the right doses. The trick is delivering it safely to the treatment site. Professor Russell Morris and his research team in the School of Chemistry have successfully solved the major problem of how to safely retain, transport and deliver NO and other medically active gases to offer novel and effective solutions for a variety of healthcare markets, including the treatment of chronic wounds, and related therapeutic and biomedical applications where eradication of bacterial biofilms is required.

Clinical studies on human skin show that zeolite-NO technology is non-inflammatory compared with a major competitor (acidified nitrite).

The zeolites and metal-organic framework (MOF) materials that Morris’ research group have developed store the gas in a stable form that can be delivered in a customised manner, in terms of dosage and rate of delivery, to the specific biomedical application.

The unique combination of highly porous materials and economically attractive, scalable chemistry offers cost-effective solutions to problems in industries as diverse as textiles, chemical consumer and water treatment. The research has resulted in seven patents and has led to the formation of two spin out companies: MOFgen Ltd, a spin out from the University of St Andrews: and Zeomedix LLC, a spin out in the US. Further interactions with ~70 companies internationally have resulted in 14 of the companies benefiting directly from the research, enabling entirely new products, entry to new markets and commercial opportunities.

Pre-startup funded by EPSRC and Scottish Enterprise.

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