Silver is capable of killing pathogens and so silver treated bandages are widely preferred in hospitals around the world. An accurate amount of silver is required to be applied on the wound to help speed up the healing process safely. The silver treated bandages that are currently being used are great with killing bacteria but they also damage the necessary cells called fibroblasts which speed up the healing of the wound.
For a long time researchers have been working on to eliminate this side effect and recently a post doctoral researcher at University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM), Ankit Agarwal has come up with an experimental idea to heal the wounds faster by killing the bacteria without damaging the necessary cells on he patient’ skin.
Silver is widely used to prevent bacterial contamination in wound dressings, says Agarwal, “but these dressings deliver a very large load of silver, and that can kill a lot of cells in the wound.”
On 19th August 2009 Ankit Agarwal presented the new idea at the American Chemical Society meeting. He has crafted an ultra-thin material carrying a precise dose of silver. One square inch contains just 0.4 percent of the silver that is found in the silver-treated antibacterial bandages now used in medicine.
Lab test results show that a low concentration of silver killed 99.9999 % of the bacteria without damaging the fibroblast cells. “This architecture is very easily tuned to different applications,” Agarwal says, because it allows exact control of such factors as thickness, porosity and silver content. The final sandwich may range from a few nanometers to several hundred nanometers in thickness. (One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers in diameter.) As mentioned by e! Science News.