Colloidal or Nanocrystalline Silver can be deposited onto various substrates or form part of compounds.Laboratorios Argenol has developed a line of products such as Fosfargol and Zeargol that contain several different concentrations of silver, which can, in turn, be incorporated into various formulations for the manufacture of plastics, textiles, cosmetics, and paints, among other products, apporting bactericidal properties.
Nowadays, plastic and textile products are present in every area of our daily life.Some of them which have antibacterial properties as a result of incorporation of silver-based additives can already be found in the market.
Some examples now being commercialized are: refrigerator interiors, bathroom articles, rubbish bags, and bactericidal surgical materials used in hospitals.Additionally, health care and medical items such as Catheters, food and drink packaging and containers, cosmetics recipients, kitchen articles, baby feeding bottles...all may incorporate antibacterial treatment.
The use of antimicrobial agents in polymers is commonplace.They are added to protect plastics and textiles from degradation caused by microbes or to provide them with a hygienic, antimicrobial outer surface.Antimicrobial Silver-based agents are taking the lead, surpassing the rest due to the bactericidal effectiveness of Silver against a broad range of microorganisms.
Silver antimicrobial agents
Mode of action
Silver is coming to be considered the most effective antibacterial agent due to its superior effectiveness against a broad range of Bacteria (Gram-positive and Gram-negative), Fungi, and Yeasts,with a proven capacity to act against a large number of pathogens.
The Silver nanoparticles are incorporated in an inorganic carrier and are liberated upon contact with humidity, inhibiting the microorganisms´ respiratory enzymes and causing them to die.
Mode of addition
Silver antimicrobial agents can be added to formulations in the same way as any other ingredient, through the use of a Master batch or as one more component of the formulation.
The incorporation of antimicrobial agents into polymer compounds is carried out by known methods such as dry blending in powder form or wet mixing in the form of solutions, dispersions, or suspensions.They may be added directly into the processing apparatus (extruders, mixers, kneaders, etc.).
Current polymer products may contain varying concentrations of active antimicrobial agents; for example, about 0.05% to about 3.0% by weight.The antimicrobial agents may be used singly or in any combination in order to achieve desired results.
Types of polymers
Some examples of polymers to which antimicrobial agents are now added are:
HDPE, LDPE, PP, PA, PET, ABS, PU, PVC, Acrylics, Thermosets.
Example of application: Catheters
There are an elevated number of illnesses acquired through the use of Catheters, some of them being fatal.
Silver incorporation in materials used to make Catheters can be an important alternative to the use of antibiotics and achieve success in the fight against resistant microorganisms.
The modification of polymer composition used to make Catheters consists of adding an antimicrobial additive which may be Colloidal Silver such as Collargol, Proteinate, Vitellinate, Targesine and Targesina with borax or an inorganic substrate with Silver incorporated, such as Fosfargol and Zeargol.
Some related studies confirm that the use of impregnated with Silver reduces the risk of bacteria development to a greater extent than the use of other kinds of antimicrobial agents.