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Binglan Yu, PhD




Assistant Professor




Assistant Professor




Binglan Yu*, Hatus V. Wanderley, Dario Winterton, Talisa Buehl, Stefano Cenci, Lorenzo Berra

Generation of high-dose inhaled nitric oxide as an antimicrobial for the treatment of respiratory infections

I have a broad background in physiology and biochemistry, with specific training and expertise in the use of nitric oxide (NO) gas. Participating in the “Women in Medicine and Science Symposium” will highlight my achievements and accomplishments as a woman faculty, with the hope to encourage other women across different disciplines and strengthen the BWH, MGH, and MGB community.

My research interest focuses on designing, developing, and testing a simple, lightweight, portable, economic NO generator, producing therapeutic levels of NO to treat (1) patients with chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, (2) as antimicrobial, to treat patients with airway infections.


Nitric oxide (NO) is an FDA-approved pulmonary vasodilator to treat neonates with persistent pulmonary hypertension at a concentration of 20 ppm. Accumulating evidence suggests that breathing high-dose NO (≥ 80 ppm) for brief periods exerts antimicrobial properties. However, inhaled NO (iNO) therapy has been limited due to high cost and complexed delivery system. Recently, we built a lightweight, portable, and economic NO generator that produces up to 80 ppm of NO. We now propose the first prototype of an antimicrobial NO generator (≥ 80 ppm).  


We designed a gliding arc plasma NO generator, consisting of two 0.2-mm thick, 10-cm long pure iridium electrodes with 12° angle in between. Inter-electrode gap in the part forming initial discharge was 3-mm. The generation of NO was measured with a chemiluminescent method and nitrogen dioxide (NO2, a potential toxic byproduct during NO generation) was monitored with CAPS (Aerodyne).   


The newly developed gliding arc NO generator produces up to 340 ppm of NO with airflow of 5 L/min. The NO2 level was below 3 ppm (EPA safety threshold).


We demonstrated that the gliding arc NO generation device produces safe, high-dose iNO, which can be used as an antimicrobial therapy to treat airway infections.