Nanosilver in medicine
Nanosilver in medicine has been used in jewellery, coins and decoration. It is less well known that silver has been valued for almost as long for its medicinal properties. In ancient Greece silver was used to purify drinking water, and just decades ago doctors applied a thin layer of silver to large wounds to prevent infection and promote healing. Silver became less frequently used to prevent infection once antibiotics were invented, but now it is being used again because of the rise in drug-resistant bacteria and new discoveries in materials sciences. The trouble with silver is that the properties that make it useful for jewellery make it less useful in medicine.
Nanosilver in medicine are used in wound dressings for burns and serious injuries. The dressing has three layers. There is an absorbent inner core to keep the wound moist, which helps it to heal. Either side of this core is a net made of polythene, which is coated with nano silver. The polythene net is designed so that it does not stick to the wound. The silver kills a wide range of bacteria. It is important that it can begin to kill the bacteria as quickly as possible. The tiny nanoparticles of silver dissolve very quickly once they are moistened (for example by blood fromthe wound) and the silver can get to work straight away.
Uses of Nanosilver in medicine Knowledge of the applications of silver nanomaterials in consumer products is crucial for an accurate prediction of release pathways, exposure, LCA, and risk assessment. During the last two decades, an extensive number of methods have been reported for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles with different particle sizes, shapes and surface properties. This advancement in their manufacturing techniques attracted the attention of many industries wanting to exploit the unique properties of silver nanomaterials for beneficial use.
The applications of Nanosilver in medicine are scattered but they can be classified under three main categories: scientific, industrial, and consumer products.Properties of nanosilver Two primary factors cause nanomaterials to behave significantly differently than bulk materials: surface effects and quantum effects (Roduner, 2006). These factors affect the chemical reactivity of materials as well as their mechanical, optical, electric, and magnetic properties. Nanosilver has chemical and biological properties that are appealing to the consumer products, food technology, textiles/fabrics, and medical industries. Nanosilver also has unique optical and physical properties that are not present in bulk silver, and which are claimed to have great potential for medical applications.
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