Comparison of Nano Metal Antibacterial Technologies

Using Functional Nano Metal As A More Effective Antibacterial Material

Nano metal antibacterial materials have always been leading the research and development direction of antibacterial materials. Traditional antibacterial methods tend to use vapor deposition, sol-gel process, hydrothermal synthesis, precipitation and redox methods in the production of Nano metals. The latest production technique tends to sputter using Nano metals. Regardless of whichever method is used, the advantage of the metal particles is that these particles are distributed in a high proportion on the surface of the material, so that the antibacterial results of the Nano metal can be effectively exerted. 

Antibacterial metal particles mainly include Nano silver and zinc oxide. In the traditional way, ionic metal particles must be produced in the state of solution to kill bacteria. The cation Nano silver ions can destroy the bacterial cell membrane by using the electric potential difference from the anion cell membrane on surface, and further combine with the thiol group on the bacterial cell protein to denature the bacterial protein so that it cannot reproduce, even metabolism or survive. However, zinc oxide uses the zinc ions and the surrounding oxygen molecules to produce high levels of active oxygen, and trigger the generation of free radicals, which destroy the genetic material and proteins of bacteria, thereby destroying the surface of bacteria and achieve antibacterial effects.

Using Nano silver ions or zinc ions as antibacterial, in addition to the precipitation of a large amount of ionic metal particles each time, which lowers the effectiveness, the metal compounds that precipitated at the same time are also toxic to human body. So that it’s only suitable for medical treatment, such as disinfecting and sterilizing wounds, or uses in various antibacterial textile products.

In 2015, a research unit proposed that to modify the antibacterial peptides, form by 10 to 80 of amino acids on the surface of Nano metal particles, by the tightly bounded covalent, to achieve a dual antibacterial with Nano metal ions and peptides. So, under the same effect, it will only reduce the precipitation of Nano metal ions. The main function of the antibacterial peptide is to open the cell membrane of the bacteria, and allow the metal particles to enter the bacterial cell to destroy it more easily.

(Image credit: Sci-Tech Vista)

When we use Nano metal particles for sterilization, these precipitated metal ion particles are so small that they can easily enter cells, and human cells cannot metabolize these particles, which will affect the cells over time. At the same time, we have to think that these metal ion particles interact with proteins and DNA in our bodies, and change the genetic signals in human DNA. Nanotechnology is like a kind of genetic engineering and modification, its harmfulness cannot be found in a short time, but its long-term extensive usage will have a negative impact on the environment and biological evolution.

Based on the thoughts above, ACTife uses ACT (silver, copper, titanium) sputtering to avoid the precipitation of metal ions, thereby removing bacteria and viruses from outside the body, and inhibit the precipitation of metal particles on the surface of sterilization products, thus avoiding metal ions from entering human body to effect the genetic signals, which may cause unpredictable negative effects. The differences of antibacterial and antiviral technologies between ions and atoms might not be significant, but will for sure have a huge long-term impact on the environment and humans.

(Image credit: Sci-Tech Vista)

Other articles related to anti-bacteria information,

please visit ACTife Technology Special Column.

[click here for more]