Silver nanoparticles target candidiasis

Silver nanoparticles may contribute to the development of new strategies for the improvement of oral health and quality of life for complete denture wearers, according to a new study in Letters in Applied Microbiology (March 8, 2012).

Researchers from the University of Minho in Portugal examined the use of different sizes of silver nanoparticles to determine their anti-fungal properties against candida albicans and candida glabrata, yeasts that cause oral thrush and dental stomatitis. Infections like these are particularly difficult to treat because the microorganisms involved form biofilms.

The study authors used artificial biofilms in conditions that mimic those of saliva. They then added varying sizes and concentrations of silver nanoparticles and found that different sizes of nanoparticles were equally effective at killing the yeasts.

"This study suggests that silver nanoparticles have antifungal therapeutic potential, but further studies are still required, namely regarding formulation and delivery means," the study authors wrote.

Due to the diversity of the sizes of nanoparticles demonstrating anti-fungal properties, the researchers hope this will enable the nanoparticles to be used in many different applications. Since the nanoparticles are relatively stable in liquid medium, they could be developed into a mouthwash solution in the near future, according to the researchers.

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