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    ACS: Silver-Delivery System Promotes Wound Healing

    Nanoscopically-thin polymer films with silver nanoparticles kill bacteria and spare fibroblasts

    FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new approach to wound healing -- nanoscopically-thin polymer films with silver nanoparticles -- may deliver the precise amount of silver needed to kill bacteria while avoiding the tissue damage associated with conventional silver-delivery systems, according to research presented this week at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting and Exposition, held from Aug. 16 to 20 in Washington, D.C.

    Ankit Agarwal, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues tested the new system on mouse cells and sample bacteria, using silver dosages that were 0.4 percent of those used in commercial silver dressings.

    The researchers found that the 0.4 percent dosage killed 99.9999 percent of the bacteria without damaging wound-repairing fibroblasts. They also found that the system was so sensitive that increasing the dosage to 1 percent of that used in commercial dressings severely damaged the fibroblasts.

    "This study goes beyond prior reports by characterizing the interactions of silver-impregnated polyelectrolyte multilayers with mammalian cells, and by identifying the minimum silver loading required for anti-bacterial activity," the authors conclude. "A significant finding of the study is that it is indeed possible to design silver-loaded polyelectrolyte multilayers that exhibit antimicrobial activity while allowing attachment and spreading of mammalian cells."

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