Although silver is highly effective at killing bacteria, it can also be toxic to humans in large amounts. A new wound dressing has been created that will release its silver nanoparticles only when infections are present. Currently being developed at the University of South Australia, the dressing is intended mainly for use on children with burn injuries, as they are particularly at risk of serious infections and sepsis.
It’s made up of a topically applied hydrogel that contains silver nanoparticles and additional proprietary ingredients which are sensitive to changes in pH and temperature. As long as the wound is not infected, the silver remains within the hydrogel. If an infection causes the pH and temperature of the wound site to change, the nanoparticles are automatically released into the tissue to kill the harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation and boost tissue regeneration.
Clinical trials have not been announced, and it is not known when the dressing may be commercially available.
Source: University of South Australia and www.newatlas.com