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Atomic Structure

What are the Properties of Nanoparticles?

Nanoparticles have a very large surface area for
their size or volume. This gives them different properties
and uses compared to bulk materials
(larger materials) that are made from the same substance.

What are the Uses of Nanoparticles?

Nanoparticles are used in sunscreens, sports equipment,
drug delivery, deodorants and medicine (see silver below).
Future uses include new catalysts, computers,
coatings and stronger and lighter building materials.

How is Silver used in Medicine?

Silver has been used historically for both jewellery and medicine.
Silver has been known to have both an anti-bacterial
property and an anti-fungal property. Anti-bacterial means
that it kills bacteria (or stops them reproducing).
Anti-fungal means that it kills fungi (or stops them reproducing).
For over 2000 years silver has been used to purify drinking water
and today some people use water filters which contain silver.

Before the development of antibiotics a thin layer of silver
was applied to cuts and wounds to prevent infection
and speed up the healing process. An antibiotic is a
substance that kills bacteria (or stops them reproducing).
In recent years there has been an increase in
the number of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
This means that they are no longer killed by antibiotics.
Silver is now being used more often to prevent infection.

Nano silver.

Nano silver is the name given to nanoparticles of silver.
Only a very thin coating of nano silver needs to be used.
The very high surface area of this type of coating gives a big
improvement in the properties of silver that prevent bacterial
or fungal growth. Nano silver is used in dressings for
injuries caused by burns, and wounds caused by surgery.

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