Nu-Med Plus, a Salt Lake City, UT-based medical device company, recently filed for a patent covering its chemically reactive coating for medical tubing. The company said the technology could help patients receive contaminant-free nitric oxide, which is a lifesaving drug used to treat neonatal hypoxia.
Neonatal Hypoxia can occur in newborns when they are deprived of adequate oxygen during or immediately after the birthing process. Inhaled nitric oxide is a medically essential gas that is currently used to treat inadequate oxygen levels in newborns, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other pulmonary conditions. The new chemically reactive coating developed by Nu-Med Plus was designed to specifically remove toxic contaminants that are often found in nitric oxide delivery systems, providing patients with high purity inhaled nitric oxide.
“The coating is chemically reactive toward nitrogen dioxide, the primary contaminant in nitric oxide therapy,” said Jeff Robins, the company's president and CEO. “The end result is that nitrogen dioxide will be selectively removed from any gas that comes into contact with the coating. Nitrogen dioxide begins forming as soon as nitric oxide comes into contact with oxygen. Nitrogen dioxide is a very toxic compound and can cause inflammation of the lungs, the exact opposite of what nitric oxide therapy is trying to achieve. Using this coating on all patient delivery pathways will remove nitrogen dioxide at the point of entry into the lungs. This provides delivery of the purest nitric oxide to the patient available today.”
These days, hospitals and neonatal clinics are trying to manage the level of contaminants in nitric oxide therapy by using shorter tubing lengths and using nitrogen as a carrier gas for the nitric oxide. Unfortunately, this method has never been an ideal solution as it can lower the oxygen content of the inhaled gas. This, of course, requires more oxygen to be added, which subsequently allows nitrogen dioxide to begin forming inside the tubing.
Robins said this growing issue pushed Nu-Med Plus to develop a coated delivery pathway so that air can be used as the carrier gas without the need for any kind of special ventilator setup. Nitrogen dioxide could then be safely removed while the gas passes into the patient completely contaminant-free. Robins says that their most recent tests have shown incredible promise without posing any risk to patients health.
“Analytical testing of the coating has shown a reduction of nitrogen dioxide down into the low parts per billion level,” he said. “It’s reduced from immediately dangerous to life and health concentrations of more than 20 parts per million. The chemical coating has also shown to permanently bond to the wall of the tubing so that it does not come into contact with the patient.”
While the development shows exciting promise, Robins was quick to note that the technology is still relatively new and will take time to bring to market. After filing for a patent in June, the company now plans to begin the process of seeking FDA approval.
“This has been a recent discovery for Nu-Med Plus,” Robins said. “Since this technology cannot only enhance the safety of our own products as well as nitric oxide delivery, we are working to get this in the FDA pipeline for approval as soon as we can.”