by Samuel Etris
Senior Technical Consultant to The Silver Institute
The silver-based procedure has been so successful in clinical tests, that one patient who had sustained three crushed fingers in an accident grew new tissue immediately. Within 2-1/2 months, skin coverage was complete and there was normal, full sensation, good blood supply and all joints had a normal range of motion. If left untreated, the 3~year-old electrician's fingers would have fallen off after turning black with gangrene, and he would have been left with a totally useless hand. In fact, his orthopedic surgeon recommended amputation of al1 three fingers, but the patient requested silver-ion therapy that was successful.
The mechanism by which silver ions help rebuild tissue has been studied for more than a decade by Robert O. Becker, M. D., Becker Biomagnetics, Lowville, New York. Becker first reported his findings at the First International Conference on Silver and Gold in Medicine, cosponsored by The Silver Institute in 1987.
In the decade since, this technique has been used in a clinical setting at Mountain Medical Specialties in Lakemont, Georgia, where hundreds of patients with various wounds have recovered. In addition, a laboratory study conducted by the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, showed that laboratory animals with burn wounds treated under controlled conditions experienced shortened time for reconstruction with silver-nylon dressings. Recovery of skin function was faster when electric current was applied compared to no application of electric current.
Becker discovered that when positively charged silver ions are electrically introduced into wounds with a proprietary silver-coated nylon fabric used as the positive electrode, large amounts of primitive embryonic stem cells are produced. These stem cells are responsible for the reconstruction of destroyed tissue at a pace considerably faster than if the wound had been left to heal by itself. In other cases, the wound might not heal at all without the introduction of these stem cells
"The advantages of this technique," says Becker, "are the ease of use, use of the patient's own cells, no immune reaction, no need to use human fetusus as a source of stem cells, no need for anti-rejection drugs and it is economic." [bag - the pharmas just hate that]
On September 29, 1998, Becker received a U.S. patent (5,814,094) for the devices, materials and techniques involved in regeneration of tissue using silver ions.
After several hundred cases, Becker believes that the technique works in three stages. The first stage is the chemical combination of the highly active free silver ions with all bacteria or fungi present in the wound that are inactivated within 20 to 30 minutes. The second stage occurs over the next few days. Silver acts on fibroblast cells (the cells that normally cause wound healing by scar formation) to cause them to revert to their embryonic state, becoming stem cells. These cells are universal building blocks whose role is to reconstruct new tissue regenerating the original structure rather than simply to form scar tissue only.
In the final stage, silver ions form a complex with the living cells in the wound area to produce immediately convertible stem cells. As stem cells flood the wound, they are rapidly converted into new, mature normal tissues of the types present before the wound occurred. The end result of this conversion is complete restoration of all anatomical structures including nerves and blood supply with no scar formation. In all cases treated, no evidence of argyria (discoloration of skin) or any other side effect was noted.
No other known treatment provides sufficient numbers of the embryonic or stem cells required for true regeneration of damaged or destroyed tissue in humans and animals. This success indicates that there is the potential not only for the healing of near-surface wounds, but for regenerative repair of internal organs such as the heart, liver, brain and the spinal cord.