Pores for thought? Just say NO!

Scientists in France have demonstrated how iron polycarboxylate metal-organic framework (MOF) materials can trap nitric oxide (NO) molecules. The discovery opens up the possibility of delivering this natural therapeutic agent to particular disease sites in the body to remedy specific respiratory problems and heart disease. NO is found in bacteria, plant, animal and fungi cells and is one of a select group of gas molecules, along with carbon monoxide, active oxygen species, hydrogen sulfide and others that are crucial to biological signaling pathways. In mammals, NO is a powerful vasodilator, increasing blood flow and lowering vascular pressure. As such, it can be used to treat respiratory failure in premature infants as well as being the key ingredient to the sexual arousal response and a target for sexual dysfunction medication.