Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 401–407 | Cite as

Antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide and its application in antimicrobial formulations and medical devices

  • Mitchell Lawrence Jones
  • Jorge Gabriel Ganopolsky
  • Alain Labbé
  • Christopher Wahl
  • Satya PrakashEmail author


This review describes the antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide (NO) and its application as an antimicrobial agent in different formulations and medical devices. We depict the eukaryotic biosynthesis of NO and its physiologic functions as a cell messenger and as an antimicrobial agent of the cell-mediated immune response. We analyze the antimicrobial activity of NO and the eukaryotic protective mechanisms against NO for the purpose of delineating the therapeutic NO dosage range required for an efficacious and safe antimicrobial activity. We also examine the role of NO produced by virulent bacteria in lessening the efficacy of traditional antimicrobials. In addition, we discuss the efficacy of NO in the healing of infected wounds, describing different NO-producing devices by category, analyzing therapeutic levels, duration of NO production, as well as commercial considerations. Finally, we provide current and future prospects for the design and use of NO-producing devices.


Nitric oxide Antimicrobial Bactericidal Fungicidal Bacteria Infection Wound healing Patch Dressing Device 



We acknowledge financial support from the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council of Canada (IRAP-NRC) and from Micropharma Limited.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitchell Lawrence Jones
    • 1
  • Jorge Gabriel Ganopolsky
    • 2
  • Alain Labbé
    • 2
  • Christopher Wahl
    • 2
  • Satya Prakash
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physiology, Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre, Faculty of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Micropharma LimitedMontrealCanada

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