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Portable Nitric Oxide (NO) Generator Based on Electrochemical Reduction of Nitrite for Potential Applications in Inhaled NO Therapy and Cardiopulmonary Bypass Surgery

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journal contribution
posted on 11.10.2017, 00:00 by Yu Qin, Joanna Zajda, Elizabeth J. Brisbois, Hang Ren, John M. Toomasian, Terry C. Major, Alvaro Rojas-Pena, Benjamin Carr, Thomas Johnson, Jonathan W. Haft, Robert H. Bartlett, Andrew P. Hunt, Nicolai Lehnert, Mark E. Meyerhoff
A new portable gas phase nitric oxide (NO) generator is described for potential applications in inhaled NO (INO) therapy and during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery. In this system, NO is produced at the surface of a large-area mesh working electrode by electrochemical reduction of nitrite ions in the presence of a soluble copper­(II)-ligand electron transfer mediator complex. The NO generated is then transported into gas phase by either direct purging with nitrogen/air or via circulating the electrolyte/nitrite solution through a gas extraction silicone fiber-based membrane-dialyzer assembly. Gas phase NO concentrations can be tuned in the range of 5–1000 ppm (parts per million by volume for gaseous species), in proportion to a constant cathodic current applied between the working and counter electrodes. This new NO generation process has the advantages of rapid production times (5 min to steady-state), high Faraday NO production efficiency (ca. 93%), excellent stability, and very low cost when using air as the carrier gas for NO (in the membrane dialyzer configuration), enabling the development of potentially portable INO devices. In this initial work, the new system is examined for the effectiveness of gaseous NO to reduce the systemic inflammatory response (SIR) during CPB, where 500 ppm of NO added to the sweep gas of the oxygenator or to the cardiotomy suction air in a CPB system is shown to prevent activation of white blood cells (granulocytes and monocytes) during extracorporeal circulation with cardiotomy suction conducted with five pigs.