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Silver is well known to the world as a soft transition metal having high lustre.The metal is popular for its wide applications in the electrical field accounting for the property of conduction and rest about its malleability and ductility both of which make silver precious.

Far fewer people known silver as a biocidal agent and its applications in this arena. However much of the biocidal properties of silver have been under research. Silver is known to possess potential antibacterial properties since good olden times.

Antibacterial properties, RHS, Royale Health shield, Asian paint anitmicrobial paint


The health industry demands cent percent sanity and interior environments devoid of contaminations. Critical and intensive care units deal with sensitive patients. For example, patients treated with chemotherapy or hospital units that provide treatment for compromised immune systems should maintain the highest hygiene levels. If in case they render harmful microbes, there is an increased chance for patients to catch up infections. Using antibiotics and disinfectants for cleaning leads microbes to develop a certain level of antibiotic resistance which makes them further stronger.

In this scenario, silver has turned out as a very good option. Silver biocidal properties are already employed in wide areas like water treatments, sanitary needs, wall paints, children's toys, surfaces of food containers, hospital interiors, etc.Harnessing crude silver as a biocide has been an older version. Science and technology have pulled out recent and updated versions of silver biocidal properties. Silver either as elemental, colloidal or nanoparticle form has amazing effects as a biocide although each has its extent of applications.

Biocidal & Nano Silver: Promoting Public Health Read Full text.


Medical properties

Having a wide arena in different industries, the silver biocide is expected in a different form depending on the purpose it has to serve. Whether being elemental, colloidal or nanoparticle form, silver maintains its biocidal effect however the extent or the range of effect varies among them.

Silver can be in free form or bound to some conjugate in different commercial preparations. The form in which it is available in preparation decides the level of its anti-bacterial nature.

Silver in its elemental form has antibacterial properties while it was later discovered that nano-sized particles have greater antibacterial properties because the total surface area increases within the specific volume as we go down on the nano-scale.

Basing on the requirement different forms of silver are employed in different applications.

The underlying fact is the number of silver ions released from commodity is directly proportional to its biocidal impact. So, silver may be in free form or bound form, the capability of releasing a consistent number of silver ions make it an efficient antibacterial agent.

Colloidal silver is a blend of different sized particles and may contain nanoform, or both.

Ionic silver is preferable for water-based commodities attributing to its ability to be soluble in water.

Of all forms, silver in its nanoform also called silver nanoparticles (AgNP’s) have potent biocidal effect claiming for continuous and prolonged release of silver (Ag) ions.They are as small as 15nm in size and can enter into bacterial cells. AgNP’s release Ag ions into cellular interiors or they form clumps on cell walls and disrupt normal bacterial cell activities both of which turn fatal to bacteria. Reactive oxygen species generation is a feature of silver ion toxicity and the free radicals formed to interact with membrane proteins and DNA posing threat to bacteria. 



Silver stands as a key player in the medicine and health industry


Anti-Bacterial properties of silver are well known among the scientific world. Silver-based anti-bacterial agents are popular for being less toxic to human cells, having high thermal stability and being less volatile.

Advancements in Health and Medicine have dragged a wider range of technological applications into use. Wound management in the health industry is one hub demanding silver as a chieftain. Nano-silver has gained extensive applications in wound healings, burn treatment, and rheumatoid arthritis and meshed skin grafts. Impaired and delayed wound healing is one common and worsening situation in diabetic patients who underwent surgeries. Silver dressing promotes a quickened wound healing allowing a faster recovery by reducing the chances of infections. AgNP’s have been proved biocidal against several aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, Gram +ve most common airborne pathogen S. aureus and Gram -veE. coli.

Nano Silver coated implantable medical devices are most common these days. Dental instruments, vascular stents, orthopaedic implantable fixations, surgical devices are few medical devices that contain silver coatings. Silver coated catheters are most preferred as the numbers of infections in patients are low to those compared with non-silver allies during post-recovery.

Nanotechnology-based antimicrobial silver-based wall coatings are growing to be common these days.In the Paint Industry, companies like Asian Paints Ltd. are using silver-based technology in their product named Royale Health Shield (RHS) to prevent the bacterial growth on the wall. These technologies are quite new. 

Silver Based Wall Coatings are Alternative Solution, here is why so


Bacteria are ubiquitous and they tend to grow on walls too. Different kinds of bacteria, fungi, and moulds tend to grow on wall interiors of buildings and hospitals. Interior wall paints, in general, contain different carbon-based and non-carbon constituents (emulsifiers, glues, thickeners, supporting materials) mainly for enhancing beauty.

Microbes feed on these chemicals and finally they turn up to provide ecological niches as an outlet. Bacterial and fungal colonization is something very common on interior walls. Humans clean the wall surfaces with disinfectants and chemicals to remove hard stains. Most bacteria grow on moist surfaces and so the cleaning process followed by drying removes most microbes. Spores are dormant stages of bacteria and fungi. They remain inactive although whatever cleaning process has been adapted.They acquire an active stage in the advent of a favourable environment and proceed to develop colonies. Excessive use of antibiotics and disinfectants in hospitals turn the harmful bacterial strains into even more dangerous antibiotic-resistant microbes.

In critical care units, for example the burn care wards where patients with high-level burns are treated, there is a greater chance for patients to catch infection because of the prevailing environment. And cleaning procedures do not ensure complete hygiene. Silver nanoparticle embedded wall paints are chosen options in such areas.

Unlike antibiotics for which bacteria are gaining resistance, silver nanoparticles are small-sized and can cross cell membranes, enter into cell interior killing the bacterial cells. As silver has multiple mechanisms of inhibiting bacteria, it doesn't give a chance for bacteria to gain resistance. 
 
Biocidal & Nano Silver: Promoting Public Health Read Full text.


Conclusion


Silver is a better option in the health industry both in the medical devices as well as interior wall surfaces of hospitals. Providing better health and protection from infections are expectations from the health industry.Take a look of Royale Health Shield-Silver Ion Technology based Wall Coating developed by Asian Paints Ltd.


Disclaimer
We acknowledge the support and contribution of Asian Paints Limited in providing information for this article. The purpose of this article is to explain the scientific principles behind anti-bacterial paints.
All product specific views expressed here are my personal views. Readers should do their own research & consult professionals before purchasing the product.

Products may not function as intended if they are not correctly used. Please also refer to product guides provided by companies before purchasing the product as your purchase and use of the product will be governed by them.

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The information provided in this article is just for the information of General Health. Science Arena Does not claim any health benefits nor are its authors in any form, all the data and information shown based on the personal experience and reference health data which is made public from the innovator/researcher.

Foot Notes

  1. The European Colloid and Interface Society (Colloidal Silver Soap)
  2. Green Synthesis of Silver Nano-Particles by Use of Edible Oils. (Kshirsagar A, Khanna T, Dhanwe V, Kate KH, Khanna PK.)
  3. Tribological and Thermal Transport of Ag-Vegetable Nanofluids Prepared by Laser Ablation Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 1779; (https://doi.org/10.3390/app10051779)
  4. Silver-nanoparticle-embedded antimicrobial paints based on vegetable oil (ASHAVANI KUMAR1*†, PRAVEEN KUMAR VEMULA2†, PULICKEL M. AJAYAN1* AND GEORGE JOHN )

Author Details

Gautam Singh Rathore Gautam Singh Rathore
Women Prathysha Naresh

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