Scientists Better Understand How Nano Silver Works

May 2, 2011

Nano Silver coated materials are an increasingly popular choice for fighting germ growth. The antimicrobial properties of nano silver can be used to keep food fresh, as a natural antibiotic preventing disease transmission in hospitals, or as a way to prevent bacterial odors around the home.

Although nano silver’s antimicrobial properties have long been known, it is only recently that science has endeavored to fully understand how they work. A new study, which used scanning transmission electron miocroscopy, was able to take a close look at what happens when nano silver and ionic silver are fighting pathogens.

For the full nano silver/ionic silver study, click here.

The most important conclusion: ionic silver and nano silver do not behave the same way.

Although both have natural antibacterial properties, ionic silver forms silver nanocrystals, attaching and reacting differently than nano silver.

The difference is important since colloidal silver is not always clearly labeled as either nano silver (tiny, neutral silver particles) or ionic silver (cheaper silver particles that are charged). Now that science confirms nano silver and ionic silver behave differently at the cellular level, there is legitimate concern to the consumer as to which product they are getting.

As far as how the natural antimicrobial effects work, this study is just one step towards understanding nano silver. (If you’re interested in how germs are killed, here is a scientific article about antifungal drug mechanisms). Now that technology allows nano materials like nano silver to be observed at the level of individual atoms and compounds, expect to see more research into the natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral mechanisms of nano silver.

What interests you with regard to how nano silver works and the difference between nano silver and ionic silver?

{ 2 trackbacks }

Exploring The Differences Between Colloidal Silver & Ionic Silver — Colloids For Life Blog
May 25, 2011 at 6:04 am
What Is Colloidal Silver? — Colloids For Life Blog
July 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm


Emma Spera May 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

It might have been a factor in turning people blueish (referred to as “argyria”).

Most of the people who have argyria were making their own “colloidal silver” (I use the term loosely-true colloidal silver is made up of neutral (non-ionic) nano silver particles suspended in pure water).

There are two consequences of trying to home brew colloidal silver:
1) You end up with more ionic particles. Although colloidal silver has been around for decades (at the least), Mesosilver colloidal silver is actually made by a process that has been refined to reduce the number of ionic silver particles as much as possible. How? I can’t actually say-our manufacturer is very tight-lipped about his process, because it’s the best on the market.
2) You end up with large particles, which play a large role in argyria. A couple of studies have found that nano silver particles are expelled through pee, sweat, hair follicles…basically, they make their way out, one way or another. Larger particles are the ones that get stuck–causing the blueish look of argyria.

Ing-Britt Gray May 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Could ionic silver been what turned some people blueish?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: