Endothelial cells line all blood vessels and regulate many homeostatic functions (e.g. platelet aggregation, vascular tone, vascular cell proliferation, leukocyte adhesion) by production of the signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO). NO bioavailability and thus endothelial cell function are compromised in many chronic disease states, including diabetes mellitus and its associated micro- and macrovascular complications (e.g. impaired wound healing and atherosclerosis, respectively) [1]. In the specific case of diabetic wound healing, application of exogenous NO to the diseased tissue may help restore critical NO-mediated processes and could positively impact healing and overall patient health [2]. We have developed a novel pin-to-hole spark discharge plasma device that generates NO and can be applied to cultured endothelial cells with minimal cell injury or death. We propose that this plasma device represents a promising novel method for topical NO application.

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