Nanosilver or nanoparticles of silver are proven to have versatile antimicrobial property. These nanoparticles are toxic to several major disease causing microbes such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, algae and even viruses. The antimicrobial activity of nanosilver is said to have been discovered first through unani medicine which contained ppm proportions of the soft metal but sources also suggest the antimicrobial use of the metal in Greece. Current medical products in the market containing nanosilver include wound dressings, prescription drugs and medical devices such as stents. Along with this there are several healthcare and consumer products available in the market that contain small amounts of the metal such as disinfectants, clothes, utensils, cutlery and paints.The antimicrobial activity is provided by the released soluble silver and non-soluble nanosilver solids. The demand for the technology is solid considering worldwide problems caused by antibiotic-resistant microorganisms such as methicillin-resistant Staph aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus that are present due to the widespread use of antibiotics.
silvercoated wound dressing products market is estimated to be in high demand for helping control infections particularly for burn victims and serious injuries. The dressing has three layers that include a moist inner core which helps the wound to heal, a polythene net covered with a layer of nanosilver which is in contact with the skin but does not stick to it. Nanosilver stents are currently being designed to reduce chances of bacterial infection of blood or bacteremia. Reckless and widespread use of silver in consumer products to make them antimicrobial has raised several environmental issues that may challenge the growth of the market. Excessive absorption of silver by the body has been known to cause brain disorders and several other debilitating conditions. Another upcoming challenge for the products is the adaptation of several key disease causing microbes to nanosilver environments such as bacillus. Nanosilver coatings on several domestic products such as dishwashers, washing machines, baby bottles, refrigerators may increase exposure to nanosilver drastically with unforeseen consequences.
The market for nanosilver medical products is booming due to high effectiveness, simplistic design and moderate cost. North America and Europe are the largest markets for antibacterial wound dressings which continue to provide antimicrobial effects for the entire life of the product.The market for nanosilver wound dressings is highly fragmented in terms of number of manufacturers. Players include Smith & Nephew, Convatec, Argentum Medical and several others.