Improving angioplasty with ‘toxic’ gases
Our body naturally produces nitric oxide gas, which can
help protect against abnormal blood clotting and has a role in
controlling blood flow.
But in large amounts this gas is poisonous. We’re supporting a
project looking at a new way to give people nitric oxide and other
naturally produced gases at specific amounts during angioplasty to make the procedure more
Your donations of time and money have helped
us fund an almost £300,000 research project at the
University of St Andrews where a team of scientists are doing
cutting-edge work that could improve angioplasty – a common
technique used to increase blood supply to heart muscle in people
with angina or who have had a heart attack. Each year over 80,000
people in the UK undergo the procedure.
How your donations help
During angioplasty, a stent is often inserted
into the artery to keep it open. But afterwards people still need
to take medication to prevent blood clots forming around the stent.
The scientists, working in collaboration with the
University of the Highlands and Islands and across
several disciplines, want to make special
materials that could be used in stents to deliver
therapeutic gases to prevent blood clots and any damaging
The team will design and build tiny
matrix-like structures called metal organic frameworks (MOFs) that
are able to absorb and store large amounts of gas
and then release this gas in measured amounts when required. Once
they’ve come up with the structures they will start testing them to
see if they’re safe and effective for patients.