Silver Nanoparticles for Antibacterial and Antiviral Applications

Background The use of antibacterial agents is widespread and can be seen in many products ranging from cosmetics to household cleaners. All tend to rely on alcohol- or triclosan-based ingredients to eliminate pathogens; however, the use of triclosan in antibacterial products has been suspected of causing new antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There is a need for a new agent that can be used in antibacterial applications that will be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There is also a pressing need for an antiviral substance that could help prevent the spread of viral infections, such as in sexually transmitted diseases. Current methods of preventing the spread of STDs, in particular, the AIDS virus, have been limited to the use of condoms. Their common misuse and instances of perforation have led to a continued increase in disease transmission.

Invention Description This technology relies on the use of silver nanoparticles as an antibacterial and antiviral agent. These silver nanoparticles exhibit strong antibacterial properties and information has also been generated that demonstrates the ability of silver nanoparticles to deactivate HIV at concentrations with little to no cytotoxicity. This provides the basis for products that can be used to inhibit the sexual transmission of HIV as well as the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases. This new technology is inexpensive to manufacture and compatible with many products currently on the market.


Inexpensive Long-term disease prevention Short-term disease prevention Convenient Easily available Coexists with existing technologies Cosmetically transparent


Topically applied and therefore non-intrusive Utilizes antiviral aspects of silver nanoparticles Uses non-toxic levels of silver nanoparticles Can be offered as a cream, gel or foam for easy application

Market Potential/Applications This technology can be applied to the pharmaceutical industry, to chemical companies, body care product companies, and disease prevention companies, and could be used to manufacture clothing with antiviral and antibacterial properties. This could be readily adapted for use in cosmetic and medicinal products including lotions, creams, toothpastes, detergents, soaps, cosmetics, surface cleaners, antibacterial-/antiviral-embedded products, and ointments.

IP Status Six foreign patent application filed

UT Researcher Miguel Jose Yacaman, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Jose Luis Elechiguerra, M.S., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Jose Ruben Morones, Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Humberto H. Lara Villegas, Ph.D., Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad autonoma de Nuevo Leon Alejandra C. Bragado, Ph.D., Texas Materials Institute, The University of Texas at Austin

Type of Offer: Licensing

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