Since the discovery of nitric oxide (NO) in the 1980s, this cellular messenger has been shown to participate in diverse biological processes such as cardiovascular homeostasis, immune response, wound healing, bone metabolism, and neurotransmission. Its beneficial effects have prompted increased research in the past two decades, with a focus on the development of materials that can locally release NO. However, significant limitations arise when applying these materials to biomedical applications. This Feature Article focuses on the development of NO-releasing and NO-generating polymeric materials (2006–2011) with emphasis on recent in vivo applications. Results are compared and discussed in terms of NO dose, release kinetics, and biological effects, in order to provide a foundation to design and evaluate new NO therapies.
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