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Differences between silver nanoparticles and silver ions

Increased interest in silver has re-emerged due to the discovery of its action in the body as a trace element necessary for the normal functioning of organs and systems, as well as its powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties.

The active use of antibiotics has caused an increase in allergic complications of antibacterial therapy, the toxic effect of antibiotics on internal organs and suppression of the immune system, the occurrence of fungal infections of the respiratory tract and dysbiosis after long-term antibacterial therapy, as well as the emergence of resistant strains of pathogens to the antibiotics used.

The wide spectrum of antimicrobial action of silver, the lack of resistance to it in most pathogenic microorganisms, low toxicity, the absence of allergies to silver, as well as good tolerance by patients – contribute to increased interest in silver in many countries around the world.
The action of silver is specific not by infection (like antibiotics), but by cellular structure. Any cell without a chemically stable wall (such as bacteria and other organisms without a cell wall, such as extracellular viruses) are susceptible to the effects of silver.

Since mammalian cells have a completely different type of membrane (not containing peptidoglycans), silver has no effect on them.
Colloidal nanosilver is a new antibacterial product consisting of microscopic silver nanoparticles suspended in demineralized and deionized water. This is a product of high scientific technology.

More and more medical, hygiene and cosmetic products are appearing on the shelves of pharmacies and stores with silver nanoparticles or silver ions. What is the difference between these two terms? Consumers often do not see the difference between silver nanoparticles and silver ions. Meanwhile, silver nanoparticles and silver ions have significant differences.

Difference in physical activity

A silver ion is one silver atom missing an electron. Because of this, the ion is always active and charged. The ion loses its activity due to the addition of the missing electron and, as a result, ceases to be effective.

Depending on the composition in which they are present, ions very quickly lose their activity due to the addition of the missing electron to themselves (by combining with the components of the composition) and cease to be effective. Once a silver ion combines with any substance, it is no longer pure silver. It becomes part of another molecule, which no longer has the properties for which the ion was used in the product.
When a cosmetic product with silver ions is applied to the surface of the epidermis, silver ions will have time to neutralize a small amount of bacteria, but they cannot overcome the epidermal barrier and completely destroy foci of infection. In order for silver ions to enter the dermis, you need to use such an amount of product that will have a negative effect on the body.

Silver nanoparticles are several thousand silver atoms combined into small crystals. They are balanced and neutral.
When a cosmetic product with silver nanoparticles is applied to the surface of the epidermis, the nanoparticles do not tend to combine with other substances, since they do not have an imbalance in the number of electrons, which means they do not lose their activity for a long time and can have a beneficial effect longer. Silver nanoparticles easily penetrate the inner layers of the skin and have a strong antibacterial effect precisely due to their size. This explains the differences between silver nanoparticles and silver ions in their activity and safety for humans:
• nanoparticle – chemically inactive (but active against simple microorganisms);
• ion – chemically active (in the process of searching for the missing electron).

Difference in the mechanism of antibacterial action

Silver ions act on the principle of inhibiting the vital function of bacteria. Penetrating inside the bacterium, silver ions act as toxins and poison the bacterium, thereby causing its death. Silver ions block the channels through which bacteria feed, carrying out their vital functions. In the process of destroying bacteria in this way, a very large number of ions are consumed, so preparations with ions give a short-term and incomplete effect, since it is impossible to provide the required number of ions in the dermis constantly and in the required quantity.

Silver ions have low efficiency. In preparations, silver ions most often act as a preservative, and the antibacterial effect is performed by an antibiotic. Bacteria develop ways to protect themselves from various antibiotics, preventing the toxin from penetrating inside in different ways or neutralizing it with special substances.

Silver nanoparticles act differently; they destroy the cell walls of bacteria, causing their instant death from physical destruction, and not from toxin poisoning. Bacteria disintegrate and die, and nanoparticles are able to continue functioning. This way of destroying bacteria does not leave them the opportunity to adapt, develop a defense mechanism and pass it on to next generations.

The undoubted advantage of nanoparticles compared to ions is that the surface coating on a nanoparticle is, on the one hand, protective, and on the other hand, it can act as a platform for the transfer of various active substances.

On the surface of nanoparticles, very important elements, various vitamins, and beneficial acids (of natural origin) that the skin needs, can be carried into the dermis. Nanoparticles specifically saturate the skin with essential substances without affecting other organs and tissues.

To kill the same number of bacteria, silver ions in solution need 100 times more than silver nanoparticles. Therefore, even a small amount of silver nanoparticles in the product can provide high efficiency. Silver nanoparticles can remain on the surface of the skin for a long time; silver ions are unable to do this, as they are very susceptible to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight).

The main differences between silver nanoparticles and silver ions

Silver nanoparticle:
•    appearance – several thousand silver atoms combined into small crystals;
•    activity – chemically inactive (active against microorganisms);
•    mechanism of action – destroys the cell wall of the bacterium;
•    duration of action – long-term antibacterial effectiveness;
•    the method of protection of bacteria against nanoparticles has not been developed;
•    penetration into the dermis – easily penetrates into the dermis due to its ultra-small size;
•    coated with special compounds – coated with active substances.

Silver ion:
•    appearance – one silver atom without an electron;
•    activity – chemically active (active in the process of searching for the missing electron);
•    mechanism of action – acts as a toxin;
•    duration of action – quickly loses effectiveness after the bacteria are destroyed;
•    method of defense of bacteria against ions – adapt;
•    penetration into the dermis – not all ions are able to penetrate the skin barrier;
•    coating with special compounds – no.

Thus, silver nanoparticles are much more effective and safer than silver ions. As part of cosmetic and hygiene products, silver nanoparticles fully cope with their task, providing antibacterial and antifungal effects.
All ARGITOS preparations are developed using special technology based on colloidal nanosilver using natural products and natural substances. They do not contain petroleum products, harmful and toxic components, and do not cause allergies.