Gasotransmitters: Antimicrobial Properties and Impact on Cell Growth for Tissue Engineering

  • Kenyatta S. Washington
  • Chris A. BashurEmail author


Several clinical situations including birth defects, trauma, and fracture nonunions often result in critical-sized defects that require a graft that can remodel and integrate with the existing bone as well as mitigate the risk of infectious complications. Delivery of gasotransmitters from tissue engineering scaffolds is a potential option to provide antibacterial properties while simultaneously promoting osteogenesis and tissue vascularization. Gasotransmitters, such as nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide, are inorganic gases that have an important role in cell signaling, and supplemental doses have also been shown to provide bactericidal properties. This chapter reviews the importance of understanding the complex and dose-dependent impacts of different gasotransmitters on both bacterial and mammalian cells. The current research into the selectivity of a gasotransmitter dose for killing bacterial cells compared to mammalian cells is a particular focus. The chapter also discusses the applications of gasotransmitters to engineered tissues, with a focus on bone and microvasculature, as well as the current limitations for incorporating gasotransmitters within scaffolds that need to be addressed.


Gasotransmitters Antimicrobial agents Tissue engineering Scaffolds Bone regeneration Carbon monoxide Nitric oxide Hydrogen sulfide Tissue vascularization Drug delivery 



Funding: Efforts were supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CBET 1510003.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and SciencesFlorida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA

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