Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Silver is not an innocuous germicide after all

Abstract:
Silver, an element long favored by medicine for its antiseptic properties, turns out to be damaging to human fibroblasts when used in the dosages required to be effective. Furthermore, the presence of albumin weakens silver's ability to fight bacteria. These findings were recently made by a team of researchers working under the direction of Dr. Stephan Barcikowski, a professor with the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) at University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). The findings have been published in three consecutive papers.

Silver is not an innocuous germicide after all

Duisburg, Germany | Posted on September 24th, 2012

The team conducted a series of tests examining the antibacterial activities of silver nanoparticles that the researchers produced themselves using laser technology (DOI: 10.2351/1.4730803). The scientists bound the nanoparticles to various synthetic materials so that they would not be absorbed by the body but would remain effective, because their large surfaces emit enough silver ions. It is these ions that are, in fact, the active substances that, for example, kill bacteria at a wound, reducing the risk for infection. Silver is therefore a substance well-suited for preserving medical products or for covering burn wounds.

Experiments using various bacteria conducted in collaboration with the clinic at the Hannover Medical School under the direction of Dr. Meike Stiesch confirmed silver's germicidal properties. Subsequent studies, however, demonstrated that at the concentrations required for killing bacteria, the silver ions also damaged fibroblasts to a significant degree. "We hadn't expected this to be the case, of course, given that silver is already widely used throughout medicine," said Barcikowski, Chair of Technical Chemistry I at the UDE and editor-in-chief of the journal BioNanoMaterials. "But further testing proved that it was the ions themselves that were damaging the cells and not, as we had at first suspected, the synthetic materials." When the scientists then mixed the samples with albumin, silver's antibacterial effectiveness dropped, but the damaging effect on the cells remained the same. The therapeutic margin is therefore extremely narrow in this case, making medical applications risky (DOI: 10.1002/adem.201180016).

Further studies are currently investigating whether it is possible to use the wound-healing properties of nanomaterials in a targeted manner. The study, "In-situ conjugation of nanoparticles using ultra-short pulsed laser ablation in monomer solution for electrospinning at burn wound sites," which is part of the DFG Priority Program 1327 "Sub-100 nm Structures," is currently looking into this. In collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and the Hannover Medical School, a team, also under the direction of Barcikowski, is researching whether nanoparticles composed of milder substances, such as zinc, iron, and magnesium, can be used to heal burn wounds. The researchers would like to test less harmful nanomaterials and then make them usable for therapeutic purposes (DOI: 10.1039/c2ra20546g).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Birte Vierjahn
Phone: 0049 203 379 1456

Copyright © CENIDE, University of Duisburg-Essen

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Caught on camera -- chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level March 22nd, 2017

Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age March 22nd, 2017

Pulverizing e-waste is green, clean -- and cold: Rice, Indian Institute researchers use cryo-mill to turn circuit boards into separated powders March 21st, 2017

CRMGroup in Belgium uses a Deben three point bending stage in the development of new steel & coated steel products for automotive and other industrial applications March 21st, 2017

Nanomedicine

Nanoparticle paves the way for new triple negative breast cancer drug March 20th, 2017

Block copolymer micellization as a protection strategy for DNA origami March 17th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Biophysicists propose new approach for membrane protein crystallization March 8th, 2017

Discoveries

Caught on camera -- chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level March 22nd, 2017

Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age March 22nd, 2017

Pulverizing e-waste is green, clean -- and cold: Rice, Indian Institute researchers use cryo-mill to turn circuit boards into separated powders March 21st, 2017

Electro-optical switch transmits data at record-low temperatures: Operating at temperatures near absolute zero, switch could enable significantly faster data processing with lower power consumption March 20th, 2017

Announcements

Caught on camera -- chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level March 22nd, 2017

Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age March 22nd, 2017

Pulverizing e-waste is green, clean -- and cold: Rice, Indian Institute researchers use cryo-mill to turn circuit boards into separated powders March 21st, 2017

CRMGroup in Belgium uses a Deben three point bending stage in the development of new steel & coated steel products for automotive and other industrial applications March 21st, 2017

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project