With the ever increasing development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, new antimicrobial solutions are in high demand. Silver and its compounds are known for their antibiotic qualities, and a new study in Advanced Science shows how this characteristic can be utilized in silver(I) metallogels with nanotube and nanofiber structures. These nanomaterial metallogels demonstrate a strong antibiotic effect against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
The antibacterial properties of silver have been known for centuries, but after the discovery of effective antibiotics its use for this purpose declined. In recent years however the degree of antibiotic use (and misuse) globally has led to an increasing problem of antibiotic resistance, where bacteria become less responsive to certain antibiotics through increasing resistance. This is a global problem with serious consequences for modern medicine. Silver has therefore had a resurgence as an antibacterial solution that does not contribute to resistance, with uses in wound dressings and food packaging.
Nanomaterials are desirable due to their easy and flexible fabrication. Tunable assembly structures including nanotubes and nanofibers, are presented in 4MPFG/Ag+ metallogel form. The nanofibers show better antibacterial activity than the nanotubes, potentially due to their ability to cause higher levels of damage to cell membrane.
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