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2013 | 60 | 4 | 495-501
Article title

Nanosilver - does it have only one face?

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Silver nanoparticles (NPs) have at least one dimension of a particle smaller than 100 nm and contain 20-15,000 silver atoms. Due to its antibacterial activity nanosilver (NS) is used for medical purposes. NS particles can be obtained by various methods. Potentially, the best method of the NS synthesis for medical purposes is based on a brief flow of electric current between two silver electrodes placed in deionized water. It is accepted that the major antibacterial effect of silver is its partial oxidation and releasing silver ions, which interact with thiol groups of peptidoglicans of bacterial cell wall, and proteins of the cell membrane causing cell lysis. Silver ions can also bind to bacterial DNA preventing its replication and stopping synthesis of bacterial proteins. The rise in exposure to silver NPs has spurred interest into their toxicology. NS undergoes a set of biochemical transformations including accelerated oxidative dissolution in gastric acid, binding to thiol groups of serum and tissue proteins, exchange between thiol groups, sulfides and selenides, binding to selenoproroteins and photoreduction in skin to zerovalent metallic silver. Animal studies have shown that exposure to NS may lead to liver and spleen damage. NS can also stimulate an increased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines by monocytes. As a spectrum of NS applications is still growing, the complex evaluation of a safety of its use becomes an important task. This requires an elucidation of not only the influence of NS on human cells and organism, but also its biotransformation in organism and in environment.
Physical description
  • Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  • Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  • Department of Biochemistry, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
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