Silver as an Anti-Microbial

It’s well known that silver demonstrates anti-microbial properties. This knowledge has been around for centuries. What is less known is how it kills micro-organisms.


Silver ions (Ag+) bind themselves to the cell wall of bacteria, and effectively block substances from entering or exiting the cell. The silver ions then enter the cell, where they then destroy energy production by blocking the respiratory system of the cell. They also bind to the DNA, which inhibits the cell’s ability to reproduce through cell division. It also causes the cell membrane to burst, and the bacteria itself to destruct.


Silver Ions Act as Anti-Microbial


Not only does silver effectively inhibit the spread of bacteria, but dead bacteria that has been exposed to it can actually destroy living bacteria as well. A sample of pseudomonas aeruginosa demonstrated this phenomenon. Scientists killed a sample of the bacteria and separated it from the silver solution. They then exposed this sample to living bacteria. Scientists found that 99.99% of the living bacteria were destroyed by the dead sample. The dead bacteria acted as a sponge, and soaked up the silver. The cells then leached it out into their environment. Once that leached silver was exposed to the living bacteria, it destroyed those organisms, acting as the ultimate anti-microbial.


Polymeric utilizes silver ions, an EPA registered anti-microbial, in its SilvaKure™ technology. Polymeric’s FORTIFI line of coatings can be formulated with SilvaKure™ technology for additional anti-microbial protection.



Silver. A Powerful Weapon Against Microbes. Kent Nielson. Coloplast.


Silver Turns Bacteria Into Deadly Zombies. Emily Conover. May 1, 2015. Science Magazine.