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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The scientist who discovered penicillin and its use as an antibiotic, Alexander Fleming, also raised concerns about bacterial resistance. As he predicted, in the twenty first century, the overwhelming use of antibiotics has led to both drug- and multi-drug resistant bacteria. This paper attempts to investigate the antibacterial potential of silver nanoparticles against drug resistant bacteria. By using Touro's online library database, the efficacy of silver nanoparticles as a potential antibacterial agent was comprehensively researched. Using transmission electron microscopy and the disk diffusion method, silver nanoparticles have been found to exert bactericidal effects by adsorbing to the cell surface and by entering the cell. The small size of the particles confers it with a high surface area which thus enables the silver nanoparticles to effectively interact with the cell membrane and thereafter enter into the cell. Moreover, the dose and shape of silver nanoparticles affects their antibacterial properties. While it has been found to be dose dependent, there is controversy regarding which shaped particle, sphere or triangular, has the greatest ability to damage the cell membrane, transport systems, DNA, and proteins, in addition to generating reactive oxygen species. Most studies have found the particles to be nontoxic at low levels, but some uncertainty still exists. In addition, silver nanoparticles seem to have a synergistic effect with the simultaneous use of antibiotics. Further research must be done before silver nanoparticles can be used as a new and effective antimicrobial agent.

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