ACTICOAT is an antimicrobial wound barrier dressing that is used in healthcare settings. ACTICOAT comes in a number of application specific formulations, but they all use SilCryst nanosilver antimicrobial films. The wound dressings have anti-inflamatory and antimicrobial properties that are essential in reducing morbidity and mortality due to infection. ACTICOAT is a cost-effective wound management solution for healthcare practitioners in both the developing and developed world. The wound dressing kills antibiotic and multiresistant strains of bacteria through one or more mechanisms. Nanosilver can kill bacteria by modifying sulfhydral containing biomolecules such as proteins, by destroying the electrochemical processing ability of cell membranes or by generating reactive oxygen compounds harmful to bacteria.
The film layer of SilCryst incorporated into ACTICOAT wound dressings are manufactured via a chemical vapor deposition process called magnetron sputtering. This technique allows ACTICOAT to be effective in vivo for up to a week, allowing dressings to not only continually clean wounds, but to create a barrier to protect against pathogens present in the local environment. These dressings can be used as field dressings to protect in environments where clean water and sterilizations may be unavailable.
This product protects and prepares wounds for various surgical and non-surgical treatments, preventing bacterial infection and eliminating existing bacteria faster than other activated silver wound dressings.
According to NUCRYST, the makers of the SilCryst technology in ACTICOAT wound dressings, there are no serious risks to human health associated with the SilCryst nanotechnology used in ACTICOAT. Nucryst, reported no serious side effects or reactions to the active ingredients in clinical trials, and the non-serious side effects were of low incidence. While this study satisfied the FDA, researchers at NIOSH are evaluating technical knowledge gaps in the health risks of silver nanoparticles to address results from recently reported animal studies that suggested silver nanoparticles have an adverse effect on liver, kidney, and lung function. For these reasons, the risks to human health from use and occupational exposure to products containing silver nanoparticles is uncertain. The disposal of OSHA regulated medical waste, such as tissue, blood and wound dressings, are most often incinerated or chemically decontaminated in OSHA regulated processes. This incineration process could potentially release the silver nanoparticles contained in ACTICOAT wound dressings, creating environmental exposure and resultant human health and ecological risk.