Wound healing is a complex process and has been the subject of intense research for a long time. Wound healing proceeds through an overlapping pattern of events including coagulation, inflammation, proliferation, and matrix and tissue remodeling. The holy grail for wound healing is accelerated healing without scars. Silver has been used for centuries to prevent and treat a variety of diseases. Its antibacterial effect may be due to blockage of the respiratory enzyme pathways and alteration of microbial DNA and the cell wall. In addition to its recognized antibacterial properties, some authors have reported on the possible pro-healing properties of silver. The use of silver in the past has been restrained by the need to produce silver as a compound, thereby increasing the potential side effects. Nanotechnology has provided a way of producing pure silver nanoparticles and this has provided a new therapeutic modality for use in burn wounds. Nonetheless, the beneficial effects of silver nanoparticles on wound healing remain unknown. A new study reports that silver nanoparticles can promote wound healing and reduce scar appearance.
"We investigated the wound-healing properties of silver nanoparticles in an animal model and found that rapid healing and improved cosmetic appearance occur in a dose-dependent manner" Dr. Kenneth Wong, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Hong Kong, explains the recent study to Nanowerk. "We showed that silver nanoparticles exert positive effects besides antibacterial properties: the addition of silver modulates the cytokines involved in wound healing; the degree of inflammation is reduced by silver; and the rate of wound healing is increased with silver"
A paper on these findings, titled "Topical Delivery of Silver Nanoparticles Promotes Wound Healing", that was published in the October 31, 2006 online edition of ChemMedChem.
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