This property of silver has caused great interest especially as new resistant strains of bacteria have become a serious problem in public health.
Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) image of silver nanoparticles produced by the Leicester source with an average diameter of about 15nm (1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair). The average size of the particles emerging from the machine can be controlled in the range 5nm - 20nm.
For example MRSA bacteria kill 5,000 hospital patients a year in the UK alone and any method of attacking them, not involving normal antibiotics, is becoming increasingly important.
Silver in the form of nanoparticles is even more effective, partly because of the high surface/volume fraction so that a large proportion of silver atoms are in direct contact with their environment. In addition, nanoparticles are sufficiently small to pass through outer cell membranes and enter cells’ inner mechanisms.
A recent medical study showed that only silver nanoparticles with sizes less than 10 nm (1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair) were able to enter cells and disrupt them. The same study showed that silver nanoparticles are highly toxic to the bacteria that colonise the lungs of cystic fibrosis sufferers often with fatal consequences.
Another study indicated that there may be a role for nanoparticles in the fight against AIDS by showing that silver nanoparticles of the same size attach themselves to structures on the surface of the HIV virus and prevent it from binding to host cells.
Professor of Nanoscience at the University of Leicester, Chris Binns, commented: “Clearly there are important medical treatments using silver nanoparticles and this is just one of the examples of how nanotechnology shows great promise in healthcare.
“One of the problems, however, is in getting assemblies of nanoparticles of the same size into the right environment, for example on the surface of a wound dressing or in a colloidal suspension that can either be turned into an aerosol or injected into the body.
“The medical studies carried out so far acknowledge that in existing commercially available nanoparticle suspensions, only 1% of the material consists of nanoparticles of the right size. The Condensed Matter Physics group in Leicester has many years’ experience in designing and building sources of size-selected metal nanoparticles.
“With support from the “Higher Education Reach –Out to Business and the Community Innovation and Regional Fund” (HIRF) this is now being put to good use to develop a machine specifically to produce nanoparticle assemblies for medical applications. The impressive uniformity of silver nanoparticles produced by the source is illustrated in the figure (available on request) and the design enables the nanoparticles to either be coated onto a solid surface or incorporated into a liquid suspension.”
Trials of the anti-microbial effectiveness of the nanoparticle suspensions will begin shortly.
Alex Jelley | alfa
Shrews shrink in winter and regrow in spring
24.10.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
24.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy