Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 6, Issue 4-5, Pages 311-314

Silver Ions in the Treatment of Local Infections

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Syracuse, 550 Harrison Street, Syracuse 13202, New York, USA

Received 1 October 1998; Accepted 29 November 1998

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A study of the use of free silver ions as an antibacterial and antifungal agent administered to infected local wounds has been conducted over the past two decades. A variety of iontophoretic techniques has been employed utilizing either pure silver wires or several types of silvered nylon fabrics as anodes in a direct current electrical circuit. A new type of silver nylon has recently been evaluated for the same use without iontophoretic current. In vitro studies of both techniques have demonstrated an effective, broad spectrum antibiotic effect including most silver-resistant strains. Over 100 cases of recalcitrant osteomyelitis have been treated with an overall success rate of approximately 65% and no evidence of argyria.