Background: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colorless gas with a characteristic smell of rotten eggs. Once only thought of as a toxic gas, evidence now shows that H2S plays major roles in pathological and physiological activities. These roles are being utilized to treat diseases and disorders ranging from hypertension, inflammation, edema, cardiovascular issues, chronic pain, cancer, and many more. Challenges facing the use of H2S currently involve achieving the optimum therapeutic concentrations, synthesizing chemically and physiologically stable donors, and developing clinically appropriate delivery systems. Methods: We did an extensive literature search on therapeutic potentials and related issues of H2S which were presented in a systematic flow pattern in introduction. Patents accepted/filed on various aspects of hydrogen sulfide were searched using the United States Patent and Trademark Office database at http://patft.uspto.gov/ and google patents at https://patents.google.com/. The important search terms combined with H2S were therapeutic effect, pharmacological action, biochemistry, measurement, and delivery. We also incorporated our own experiences and publications while discussing the delivery approaches and associated challenges. Results: In the process, researchers have discovered novel techniques in preparing the noxious gas by discovering and synthesizing H2S donors and developing controlled and predictable delivery systems. Donors utilized thus far include derivatives of anti-inflammatory drugs like H2S -aspirin, Allium sati-vum extracts, inorganic salts, phosphorodithioate derivatives, and thioaminoacid derivatives. Use of controlled delivery systems for H2S is critical to maintain its physiological stability, optimum therapeutic window, increase patient compliance, and make it easier to manufacture and administer. Numerous patents overcoming the challenges of using H2S therapeutically with various donors and delivery mechanisms have been reviewed. Conclusion: The scientific knowledge gained from the last decade researches has moved H2S from a foul smelling pungent gas to the status of a gasotransmitter with many potential therapeutic applications. However, developing a suitable donor and a delivery system using that donor for providing precise and sustained release of H2S for an extended period, is critically needed for any further development towards its translation into clinical practices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science