0713_SILVER graphic 2 [Ions, not particles, make silver toxic to bacteria]

Silver ions delivered by nanoparticles to bacteria promote lysis, the process by which cells break down and ultimately die, which makes silver nanoparticles a superior and widely used antibacterial agent. New research by Rice University found that silver ions, not the particles themselves, are toxic to bacteria. They also found that ligands in the vicinity of a bacteria can bind silver ions, preventing them from reaching their target. Graphic by Zongming Xiu

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.