Dec 29, 2010

A pharmacological and toxicological profile of silver as an antimicrobial agent in medical devices

Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Alan B G Lansdown

Abstract

Silver is used widely in wound dressings and medical devices as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Metallic silver and most inorganic silver compounds ionise in moisture, body fluids, and secretions to release biologically active Ag(+). The ion is absorbed into the systemic circulation from the diet and drinking water, by inhalation and through intraparenteral administration. Percutaneous absorption of Ag(+) through intact or damaged skin is low. Ag(+) binds strongly to metallothionein, albumins, and macroglobulins and is metabolised to all tissues other than the brain and the central nervous system. Silver sulphide or silver selenide precipitates, bound lysosomally in soft tissues, are inert and not associated with an irreversible toxic change. Argyria and argyrosis are the principle effects associated with heavy deposition of insoluble silver precipitates in the dermis and cornea/conjunctiva. Whilst these changes may be profoundly disfiguring and persistent, they are not associated with pathological damage in any tissue. The present paper discusses the mechanisms of absorption and metabolism of silver in the human body, presumed mechanisms of argyria and argyrosis, and the elimination of silver-protein complexes in the bile and uri...Continue Reading

  • References111
  • Citations57

References

  • References111
  • Citations57

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Skin Absorption
Metabolic Process, Cellular
Urine
Sulfides
Complex (molecular entity)
Dermis
Brain
Entire Conjunctiva
Entire Central Nervous System
Conjunctival Diseases

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