Antimicrobial Properties and Therapeutic Applications of Silver Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites


Due to their proven efficacy against a variety of pathogens, especially a broad spectrum of bacteria, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been increasingly incorporated into consumer goods and medical products. Furthermore, the recently unveiled antiviral, antiinflammatory, and anticancer activities have attracted great interest and stimulated new developments. Concomitantly, the research on the potential adverse effects of AgNPs to human health has intensified, with a view to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying AgNPs toxicity and of the features which can be manipulated to mitigate undesirable effects while keeping biological activity. This account intends to give an up-to-date perspective on the preparation, biological properties, and toxicity of AgNPs intended for therapeutic applications. Moreover, the preparation and testing of AgNPs-polymer-based composites will be addressed in a final section, as this area configures an important strategy toward the development of novel nanosilver products with improved stability, therapeutic properties, and toxicity profiles.


R.J.B. Pinto, M. Nasirpour, J. Carrola, H. Oliveira, C.S.R. Freire, I.F. Duarte

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