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Nitric oxide (NO), a small free radical molecule, turned out to be pervasive in biology and was shown to have a substantial influence on a range of biological activities, including cell growth and apoptosis. This molecule is involved in signaling and affects a number of physiologic functions. In recent decades, several processes related to cancer, such as angiogenesis, programmed cell death, infiltration, cell cycle progression, and metastasis, have been linked with nitric oxide. In addition, other parallel work showed that NO also has the potential to operate as an anti-cancer agent. As a result, it has gained attention in cancer-related therapeutics. The nitric oxide synthase enzyme family (NOS) is required for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide. It is becoming increasingly popular to develop NO-releasing materials as strong tumoricidal therapies that can deliver sustained high concentrations of nitric oxide to tumor sites. In this paper, we developed NO-releasing materials based on sodium alginate hydrogel. In this regard, alginate hydrogel discs were modified by adsorbing layers of polyethyleneimine and iNOS-oxygenase. These NO-releasing hydrogel discs were prepared using the layer-by-layer film building technique. The iNOS-oxygenase is adsorbed on the positively charged polyethyleneimine (PEI) matrix layer, which was formed on a negatively charged sodium alginate hydrogel. We show that nitric oxide is produced by enzymes contained within the hydrogel material when it is exposed to a solution containing all the components necessary for the NOS reaction. The electrostatic chemical adsorption of the layer-by-layer process was confirmed by FTIR measurements as well as scanning electron microscopy. We then tested the biocompatibility of the resulting modified sodium alginate hydrogel discs. We showed that this NOS-PEI-modified hydrogel is overall compatible with cell growth. We characterized the NOS/hydrogel films and examined their functional features in terms of NO release profiles. However, during the first 24 h of activity, these films show an increase in NO release flux, followed by a gradual drop and then a period of stable NO release. These findings show the inherent potential of using this system as a platform for NO-driven modulation of biological functions, including carcinogenesis.


This research was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, grant number [R15GM140405] to MB.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.




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