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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X014436/1
Title: Nitric Oxide-Releasing Materials to Prevent Catheter Related Thrombosis and Infection
Principal Investigator: Morris, Professor RE
Other Investigators:
Menary, Professor G Lennon, Dr A Megson, Professor I
Hadoke, Professor PWF
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Lubrizol Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 15 March 2023 Ends: 14 March 2026 Value (£): 2,072,678
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Co-ordination Chemistry
Design & Testing Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Sep 2022 Healthcare Technologies Investigator Led Panel Sept 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will develop a novel and preventative solution to catheter-related thrombosis and infection, two important complications of catheterisation. It will achieve this by accelerating the translation of nitric oxide (NO)-releasing metal organic framework material research into an industrially relevant proposition, moving the technology from TRL1/2 to TRL3/4. The project will provide the means to improve interventions conducted via catheterisation and it will encourage development of new, minimally invasive treatments. Its outputs will benefit patients and clinicians by reducing complications, improving safety and increasing efficiency.

MOFs are one of the most significant classes of materials to be developed in recent times. They are nanoporous solids formed by connecting metal ions or clusters with organic linking molecules to form extended networks. Their huge porosity and accessible surface area (up to 5-6,000m2g-1) make them absolutely ideal for storage and delivery uses. As a result, there is significant academic activity developing and studying these materials for a diverse range of applications such as gas handling (including carbon capture, hydrogen and methane storage, toxic gas capture), environmental remediation, catalysis, energy applications and drug delivery. The Morris group has pioneered their use for the storage/delivery of medical gases, particularly NO.

NO is a biological signalling molecule that has antimicrobial, vasodilatory, antithrombotic and wound healing properties. Exogenous delivery of NO has the potential to offer advanced therapies that mimic natural processes and address pressing societal challenges. Currently, only systemic NO delivery is possible using pro-drugs (e.g. glyceryl trinitrate) or, direct inhalation of the gas. However, these approaches can lead to unwanted side-effects. Localised and controlled delivery of NO (e.g. from implantable devices) has long been sought by clinicians but is yet to be realised. NO-releasing MOFs (developed by the applicants) have the potential to achieve this goal if they can be processed successfully into the appropriate devices. Successful incorporation into indwelling catheters will reduce healthcare associated infections and the risk of thrombosis.

As is currently the case in many areas of MOF application research, realisation of the potential benefits offered by NO-releasing MOFs is reliant on the successful development and understanding of their performance and processing in end-product-specific matrices (typically polymers). This project will use experimentation and modelling to investigate how polymer matrices, MOF loading and distribution influence NO adsorption and release by polymer-MOF composites. It will analyse the stability of MOFs towards sterilisation techniques, and it will develop advanced manufacturing aspects that will benefit the development of MOFs in catheters and other shaped polymer-based articles. Further, the project will deploy advanced in vitro and in vivo techniques to demonstrate efficacy and safety, and to contribute to the understanding and analysis of catheter-related thrombosis and infection. In doing so, this project will expand the fundamental understanding of the materials necessary to fully harness the properties of MOFs for healthcare application, whilst simultaneously facilitating the necessary device development and analysis required to move the technology towards industrial adoption.

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Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk