Synthesis and Application of Silver Nanoparticles (Ag NPs) for the Prevention of Infection in Healthcare Workers
Division of Biomedical Engineering, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Saitama 359-8513, Japan
Section of Gene Expression Regulation, Frontier Science Research Center, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, National Defense Medical College Hospital, Saitama 359-8513, Japan
Division of Environmental Medicine, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Saitama 359-8513, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(15), 3620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20153620
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silver Nano/Microparticles: Modification and Applications 2.0)
Silver is easily available and is known to have microbicidal effect; moreover, it does not impose any adverse effects on the human body. The microbicidal effect is mainly due to silver ions, which have a wide antibacterial spectrum. Furthermore, the development of multidrug-resistant bacteria, as in the case of antibiotics, is less likely. Silver ions bind to halide ions, such as chloride, and precipitate; therefore, when used directly, their microbicidal activity is shortened. To overcome this issue, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have been recently synthesized and frequently used as microbicidal agents that release silver ions from particle surface. Depending on the specific surface area of the nanoparticles, silver ions are released with high efficiency. In addition to their bactericidal activity, small Ag NPs (<10 nm in diameter) affect viruses although the microbicidal effect of silver mass is weak. Because of their characteristics, Ag NPs are useful countermeasures against infectious diseases, which constitute a major issue in the medical field. Thus, medical tools coated with Ag NPs are being developed. This review outlines the synthesis and utilization of Ag NPs in the medical field, focusing on environment-friendly synthesis and the suppression of infections in healthcare workers (HCWs).