St Andrews and UHI study gas benefits for heart
Scientists are exploring the potential use of toxic gases, including one that smells of rotten eggs, to help protect against heart disease and strokes.
New materials are being designed that could deliver controlled releases of carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide inside patients' bodies.
A team will be assessing the effects of the gases on blood vessels and clots.
Both the University of St Andrews and University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) are working on the project.
Chemists at the University of St Andrews, led by Prof Russell Morris, will design and make a range of new materials called metal-organic frameworks.
These will be filled with tiny cavities to act like miniature tanks to store the gases.
Meanwhile, a team led by Prof Ian Megson at UHI's Department of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Science are studying the effects the gases have on blood vessels and how blood clots.
Prof Morris said it was an "extremely exciting" project.
He said: "The exquisite chemistry of metal-organic framework materials gives us the opportunity to develop a wide range of products with different applications in cardiovascular disease."
Professor Megson added: "Our job is to use the different materials supplied by St Andrews to find out the ideal characteristics to be useful in the fight against heart disease."
The British Heart Foundation has awarded £288,000 towards the research.