‘Colloidal Silver’: Recommendations to Remove This Misleading Term for Describing Nanoparticulate Silver Antimicrobial Agents


Pharmacognosy Communications,,2017,7,2,98-101.
Published:May 2017

‘Colloidal Silver’: Recommendations to Remove This Misleading Term for Describing Nanoparticulate Silver Antimicrobial Agents

Hans Laroo1, Michael Whitehouse2*

1Security Research Pty Ltd, One Mile, Qld. 4305, AUSTRALIA.

2School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast Qld, AUSTRALIA.


We endeavour to resolve some of the confusion surrounding the (mis) use of the term ‘colloidal silver’, particularly in a pharmaceutical context. It is proposed that, wherever possible, the term ‘colloidal silver’ be replaced by a clearer descriptor indicating a silver formulation’s composition and function, particularly when used either to help treat infections and/or to stimulate healing (as in restorative medicine).

For discussion, we propose adopting some less ambiguous terms to describe metallic silver formulations; this new terminology being more related to their physical properties and their end use, e.g. bioactive silver dispersion, nano (sized)silver clusters (NSC), reactive atomic clusters, ‘quantum meta-silver’, etc. Methods for characterising medicinal silver products are also considered – these being needed to adequately certify the chemical composition and physical properties of novel pharmaco-active silver formulations – before submitting them for clinical evaluation.

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