‘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.

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


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.

Key words: Materia medica, Silver antimicrobials, Nano silver clusters (NSC), ‘quantum silver’, ‘meta-silver’.

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