Nitric oxide in nanoparticles increases survival after massive blood
5 March 2011
Nitric oxide (NO) carried in the bloodstream by nano-size
particles could prove a vital tool in maintaining blood circulation
following massive blood loss.
The new therapy, developed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of
Yeshiva University, counters hemorrhagic shock by increasing the
body's levels of NO gas, which, among other physiological functions,
relaxes blood vessels and regulates blood pressure.
NO is so short-lived that delivering it in therapeutic amounts
requires a method of sustained release, so the Einstein College team
developed a method to encase the gas in microscopic-sized particles.
The therapy is created by adding the NO-containing nanoparticles to
saline solution, which was then infused into the animals. Once in
the body, the nanoparticles gradually release a sustained dose of NO
In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care,
scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva
University have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve
survival after life-threatening blood loss.
NO-releasing nanoparticles (NO-nps) were infused into the
bloodstream of hamsters, where they helped maintain blood
circulation and protect vital organs. The research was reported in
the February 22 online edition of the journal Resuscitation.
Coauthor Joel Friedman MD, PhD, professor of physiology &
medicine and of medicine and the Young Men's Division Chair in
Physiology at Einstein College said, "The new nanomedicine was
developed to address the need for better field treatments for
massive human blood loss, which can cause cardiovascular collapse,
also known as hemorrhagic shock. This potentially fatal condition is
best treated with infusions of refrigerated blood and other fluids.
But such treatments are limited to emergency rooms or trauma
"It is highly impractical to pack these supplies for use in rural
emergencies, mass-casualty disasters or on the battlefield. Our
nanoparticle therapy may offer the potential for saving lives in
those situations. It's lightweight and compact and doesn't require
The nanomedicine was successfully tested in hamsters that had
lost half their blood volume. "Animals given the nanoparticles
exhibited better cardiac stability, stronger blood flow to tissues
and other measures of hemorrhagic shock recovery compared to
controls receiving saline solution minus the nanoparticles,"
reported Dr. Friedman.
Previously published studies by Dr. Friedman and colleagues have
demonstrated the beneficial effects of NO-containing nanoparticles
for healing antibiotic-resistant staph infections and abscess caused
by those bacteria and for treating erectile dysfunction.
1. Parimala Nachuraju, Joel Friedman, Adam Friedman, Pedro
Cabrales. Exogenous nitric oxide prevents cardiovascular collapse
during hemorrhagic shock. Resuscitation, February 22, 2011
Abstract available at: