Positively charged silver ion nanoparticles attach to negatively charged bacterial cell membranes.
Once attached, the silver ion inactivates and kills the bacteria.¹
According to a 2018 study published by the International Journal of Nanomedicine, positively charged silver ion nanoparticles are attracted to bacterial cell membranes because of its negative charge. As the cell membrane of bacteria is mostly comprised of carboxyl, phosphate, and amino groups, it is proven to be negatively charged. As positively and negatively charged particles are attracted to one another, positively charged silver ions naturally attach to the negatively charged bacterial membrane.
Once attached, the silver ion is observed to penetrate the membrane and cause leakage, which inactivates and kills the bacteria.