Chronic Wound Healing Using Silver Impregnated into Glass

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK have demonstrated that silver retains antimicrobial activity for longer when it is impregnated into “bioactive glass,” and shown for the first time how this promising combination delivers more long-lasting antimicrobial wound protection than conventional alternatives. Bioactive glasses are a unique class of synthetic biomaterials made from silicone and have been used for some years in bone grafting. Silver has long been known to prevent or reduce the growth of biofilms (communities of bacteria) in open wounds, and silver-based treatments are increasingly popular as they are effective against many antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.  These antimicrobial properties depend on silver remaining in an ionic form so it can penetrate bacterial cell walls and disrupt their life cycle, but the silver ions or nanoparticles in wound dressings are prone to transforming to silver sulphide or silver chloride--which can reduce antimicrobial activity and hinder the success of treatment. 

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