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A water-soluble iron-porphyrin complex capable of rescuing CO-poisoned red blood cells.


We describe herein a small-molecule platform that exhibits key properties needed by an antidote for CO poisoning. The design features an iron-porphyrin complex with bulky substituents above and below the macrocyclic plane to provide a hydrophobic pocket for CO binding and to prevent the formation of inactive oxo-bridged dimers. Peripheral charged groups impart water solubility. We demonstrate that the Fe(II) complex of a porphyrin with 2,6-diphenyl-4-sulfophenyl meso substituents can bind CO, stoichiometrically sequester CO from carboxyhemoglobin, and rescue CO-poisoned red blood cells.

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