| Adhesive Strips & Bandages | Wound Contact Dressings | Breast Pad|
| Tubular Stretch Knit | Circumcision Dressing | Silverlon Home Page |

Silverlon Silver Burn and Wound Care Products
Better outcomes.™

Silverlon® Wound Care Dressings
History of Silver in Medicine
and Wound Dressings

Past Medicinal Uses of Silver

During the past 2000 years, many civilizations have recognized the properties of silver in preventing diseases. For instance, the Romans used silver nitrate therapeutically, and the hermetic and alchemical writings of Paracelsus speak of the virtues of silver as a healing substance.

In the 1800s, several physicians discovered the antibacterial (antigerm) qualities of silver and applied them to their practice of medicine. They used silver nitrate successfully in the treatment of skin ulcers, compound fractures and suppurating (draining puss) wounds. In 1881, Carl Crede pioneered the installation of dilute silver nitrate in the eye of neonates to prevent gonorrheal ophthalmia, a technique which has been in widespread use ever since. Von Naegeli and others in 1893 realized that the antibacterial effects of silver were primarily due to the silver ion. He coined the term oligodynamic to mean that a small amount of silver is released from the metallic surface when placed in contact with liquids.

At the turn of the century, Dr. William Halstead, one of the founding fathers of modern surgery, advocated the use of silver foil dressings for wounds. These dressings were used extensively until just after World War II, and were listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference until 1955, when the use of antibiotics became widespread.

In the early 1970’s, Drs. Becker, Marino and Spadaro of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse, New York pioneered the study of silver-coated fabrics for the treatment of complex bone infections. Having studied with Dr. Becker, Dr. A. B. Flick began developing broader clinical applications for silver nylon fabrics in partnership with Dr. Becker during his Orthopedic Surgery residency training at the University of Vermont. Dr. Flick subsequently entered private practice and continued his research independently.

During roughly the same time, three other university centered research teams also investigated the wound healing properties of silver plated fabrics with the application of an electrical potential. Dr. Alvarez, at the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami, in 1985, studied the effect of electrically activated silver-coated fabrics on an animal model of partial thickness skin wounds in pigs. Dr. Marino and Dr. Albright, at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Louisiana State University 1983 - 1986, studied the effect of electrically activated silver plated fabrics on chronic bone infections in humans. Dr. Chu and Dr. McManus, at the Army Surgical Research Center, Fort Sam Houston 1989 - 1996, studied the effect of electrically activated and non-electrically activated silver-coated fabrics on several animal burn wound models. 

 The Brief Background of Silverlon®

While there have been previous attempts to develop a commercial medical application for silver plated fabrics, these efforts failed largely due to the temperamental nature of the plating process. In concert with a world-leading chemist, Dr. Flick developed a proprietary plating process that is less expensive and more uniform than preceding approaches. Where previous research was abandoned or was too limited in scope, Dr. Flick continued to collect field data that supported a broad range of uses for Silverlon®.

In conclusion, although clinical reports of the effectiveness of silver nylon have been in the medical literature for the past 32 years, no serious attempt to commercialize the product has been undertaken. The barriers of FDA marketing approval, in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility and antimicrobial studies, FDA CGMP manufacturing standards, and the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of silver plated fabric all contributed to preventing commercialization. In its development of Silverlon®, Argentum® has overcome all of these barriers.

 Intellectual Property 

Prior to 1996, Dr. Flick co developed the following patent and patent pending with Dr. Robert 0. Becker:

After 1996, Dr. Flick, acting alone, broadened the intellectual property with the development of two additional properties that have been assigned to the Company:

History of Silver Wound Products For a printer friendly version of this Silverlon®
History of Silver Page, please click here
History of Silver Wound Products

Back to the Silverlon® Home Page

Contact Information

(Toll Free) Phone:

E-Mail Us at:
     FAX #:

Argentum Medical, LLC.
240 81st Street
Willowbrook, Illinois 60527

All of the Silverlon® Wound Care, Burn Care, and Surgical Care Products
listed on this website are FDA Cleared.

ISO Certified Wound Care Product Company
Copyright © 1998-2007 Argentum Medical, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.