Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Electrochemically Modulated Delivery of Nitric Oxide from Diazeniumdiolates and Inorganic Nitrite

Technology #5188

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Mark E. Meyerhoff
Managed By
Tiefei Dong
Senior Licensing Specialist, Life Sciences 734-763-5332

Thrombosis and infection are key risks for patients with implanted medical devices

U.S. market for medical devices is the world’s largest and it is estimated at $105.8 billion. These devices save or drastically improve the quality of life of millions of people. To improve these devices, coating technologies have been developed and their market is estimated to reach $3.9 billion by 2014. Key issues with even the most successful implanted devices arise from biocompatibility problems and risk of serious infections. When a device is implanted, the body attempts to remove it as a foreign object, resulting in blood clot formation. Development of coronary artery stent thrombosis is a serious condition that requires anti-platelet therapy to minimize its risk. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported over 2 million people who suffer from bacterial infections from inter-dwelling catheters and of these, nearly 90,000 cases were fatal. Thus catheters with antimicrobial coatings are rapidly replacing conventional ones, especially in hospital settings. Development of new coatings that reduce both thrombosis and infection is urgently needed.

Technology that reduces risk associated with implantable catheter

Researchers at the University of Michigan developed a device that can deliver nitric oxide (NO) in an electrochemically controlled manner and can be used in dual lumen catheter to reduce risk of thrombosis and infection. NO prevents platelet adhesion to the implanted device, which prevents thrombus formation, and it minimizes inflammation and fibrosis. It also has anti-microbial properties and prevents biofilm formation, and is helpful in wound healing. Because NO has a very short half-life in blood, researchers have developed NO donor molecules that can store NO and release it upon chemical stimulation, in particular a decrease in pH. They have coupled the NO donor reservoir to two electrodes and demonstrated that application of voltage to the electrode releases NO. Initiation of NO release was very fast, and once voltage was removed, NO levels decreased dramatically. Researchers have designed an NO release device that could be integrated in a dual lumen catheter and demonstrated that it is able to release NO in a controlled manner. Additionally, NO releasing polymers can be integrated into hydrogels with mesh electrodes embedded in them to develop a wound healing sheet.


  • Implantable catheters
  • Wound healing
  • Other implantable medical devices


  • Improved biocompatibility of implanted device
  • Reduce risk of thrombosis and infection
  • Controlled release of anti-thrombotic and anti-microbial agent
  • Wound healing properties