The collaborative work “Zinc Oxide Particles Catalytically Generate Nitric Oxide from Endogenous and Exogenous Prodrugs” with Rona Chandrawati at University of New South Wales has been published in small.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent biological molecule that contributes to a wide spectrum of physiological processes. However, the full potential of NO as a therapeutic agent is significantly complicated by its short half‐life and limited diffusion distance in human tissues. Current strategies for NO delivery focus on encapsulation of NO donors into prefabricated scaffolds or an enzyme‐prodrug therapy approach. The former is limited by the finite pool of NO donors available, while the latter is challenged by the inherent low stability of natural enzymes. Zinc oxide (ZnO) particles with innate glutathione peroxidase and glycosidase activities, a combination that allows to catalytically decompose both endogenous (S‐nitrosoglutathione) and exogenous (β‐gal‐NONOate) donors to generate NO at physiological conditions are reported. By tuning the concentration of ZnO particles and NO prodrugs, physiologically relevant NO levels are achieved. ZnO preserves its catalytic property for at least 6 months and the activity of ZnO in generating NO from prodrugs in human serum is demonstrated. The ZnO catalytic activity will be beneficial toward generating stable NO release for long‐term biomedical applications.