Here are two facts that we’ve known for some time. Antibiotic-resistant disease-causing bacteria (such as methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus—MRSA) are on the rise. And some metals (silver and copper, for example) have antibiotic properties. The challenge is that, unlike with a traditional antibiotic treatment, you can’t just take silver and have it treat your infection.
Or can you? Researchers at Guru Nanak National College, Punjab University, the Institute of Microbial Technology, and Mata Gujri College have found a way to prepare nanoparticles of silver nanoparticles in a way that is both nontoxic and also environmentally friendly. As Manoj Kumar Choudhary, Jyoti Kataria, Swaranjit Singh Cameotra, and Jagdish Singh report in their article, “A facile biomimetic preparation of highly stabilized silver nanoparticles from seed extract of Vigna radiata and evaluation of their antibacterial activity” published in Applied Nanoscience, they were able to use the aqueous seed extract of mung beans to synthesize silver nanoparticles that they then tested for antibacterial effectiveness.
You can’t just take silver and have it treat your infection. Or can you?
What Choudhary et al. did was to use the phytochemicals in an extract from mung bean seeds to break the silver into nanoparticles and also to stabilize them. They found that they could get properly-shaped particles that ranged in size from 5 to 30 nanometers, and that these particles would remain stable for months at room temperature. The technique they used also used less energy and fewer toxic chemicals than traditional approaches, rendering it “green.”
They then tested these silver nanoparticles on various Gram-negative and Gram-positive disease-causing bacteria including Esc coli and S. aureus and found that the silver retained its antibacterial properties.
The next step, as the researchers say, would be to investigate if these silver nanoparticles could be used in pharmacology and medicine. You can read the entire article here.