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The toxicity of antimicrobial silver in products can be reduced
Date:2/24/2010

xploited the laboratory's prior experience with gold nanoparticles and the expertise of the School of Science and Technology of the Aalto University and its European cooperation partners.

In Helsinki, the stabilising component used in the manufacturing process is a polymer with a reactive thiol end group. It is known that thiol groups bind effectively with silver, which enables the effective colloidal stabilisation of silver nanoparticles and binding to polymers. The polymer is in itself a soft, rubber-like acrylate, which contains a water-soluble block that enables silver ions to be released from the otherwise hydrophobic coating. The idea is that these silver nanoparticles could be used as a coating or its component.

Many mechanisms relating to the toxicity of silver to micro-organisms have been put forward. It has been demonstrated that silver ions react in cells with the thiol groups of proteins. There is also evidence to show that silver ions damage DNA by inhibiting its replication. Silver's ability to form extremely sparingly soluble salts is also considered one of its impact mechanisms. When the chloride ions precipitate as silver chloride from the cytoplasm of cells, cell respiration is inhibited. The antibacterial efficiency of silver nanoparticles is also well-known, especially against Gram-negative bacteria such as E.coli. The silver nanoparticles work by releasing silver ions and by penetrating cells.

Silver, silver ions and silver nanoparticles have generally been considered to be quite harmless to people. However, the most recent research has demonstrated that nanoparticles also penetrate mammalian cells and damage the genotype. There is even evidence to suggest that silver nanoparticles may actively find their way into cells through endocytosis. Inside the cell, hydrogen peroxide formed in cell respiration oxidises silver nanoparticles and releases silver ions from them, consequently increasing the toxicity. Thus, it c
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Contact: Professor Heikki Tenhu
heikki.tenhu@helsinki.fi
358-405-219-690
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

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