These are critical in determining if the person is infectious and to ensure that donated plasma used to treat ill patients is safe. The metals also have broad applications in the medical field, well beyond the dental uses most people associate with them.Combatting Covid-19: gold, silver and platinumResearchers have developed drugs and tests that use silver to detect and protect against the virus. Source: Johnson Matthey The broader value of precious metalsThe healthcare sector represents approximately 3-5 percent of the overall precious metals market. And they are strong, so they do not break easily. Gold rose to over $2,000 by early August, up more than 30 percent from the start of the year. Figure 1. Platinum (Pt) is a critical components in implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Gold nanoparticles support new drug development and drug delivery systems A place in medical technologyGerms do not spread on a silver surface, due to its anti-microbial properties. Figure 2. A downside to these platinum-based drugs is their non-specificity, which creates some of the adverse side-effects in chemotherapy, like hair loss. This brings hope of earlier detection. This treatment has shown particular promise in prostate cancers, a disease that impacts about 11 percent of men.Additional therapeutic usesGold nanoparticles (tiny spheres made of gold atoms with a diameter of only a few billionths of a meter) have also shown potential in the testing and treating of HIV/AIDS. Figure 3. Also on rt.com
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The fight against Сovid-19 highlights a trend: growing demand for precious metals in healthcare. Staphylococcus aureus, a dangerous and highly infectious bacterium, spreads quickly in hospitals. In a study, researchers were able to detect the HIV virus, even in situations where the virus had little development. To limit the spread, hospitals often use equipment lined with silver, from surgical tools to stethoscopes to even the furniture. National health spending in the US is expected to rise to 19.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027, or six trillion dollars a year, representing a generational shift in spending. Electrophysiology catheters, for example, use electrodes to measure cardiac muscle activity. Follow RT on
As Covid-19 spread across the globe last spring, investors rushed to precious metals as a financial safe haven. Silver is also often incorporated in breathing tubes and catheters to protect against infections. Covid-19 serology tests (antibody tests) Beyond silver’s diagnostic and therapeutic uses in the fight against Сovid-19, there are also trace amounts of silver in the fabric of some masks. This has value, particularly in parts of the world where there they lack access to labs.Platinum and palladium have similar biological properties. Though still very early days for this research, it provides some promising potential.Read more on Oilprice.com: Fracking could save Colombia from economic crisisGold has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint inflammation and pain, and gold preparations were among the original treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In fact, silver is much more useful in medical devices than in medicines because of its toxicity – too much silver in the body can cause Argyria, a blue or grey hue in the skin. This has encouraged the broad use of platinum in catheters. This role has the potential to grow, accelerated by recent breakthroughs.Since its natural properties slow cells — both healthy and cancerous ones — from dividing, platinum (Pt) has long been used in chemotherapy treatments, including in drugs known as cisplatin and carboplatin. Gold is also used in rapid tests for malaria, allowing doctors to test the disease within 20 minutes. Also on rt.com
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Platinum is also broadly used in medical devices, including stents and pacemakers, in addition to catheters. In these “brain pacemakers,” there is platinum in the electrodes and within some of the device’s components. This has particular relevance now, but also into the near future as the population continues to age. The platinum electrodes make the device possible. They are also electrically conductive, opening applications where the body or organs are stimulated directly. In an early study of monkeys with an HIV-like virus, gold nanoparticles reduced the number of infected cells. Similar to the platinum treatments, it essentially suffocates the diseased cells, but the gold nanoparticles are more effective in attacking the unwanted cells. But in the medical technology field, it has a place because of this germ-protective property. Figure 4. Serological assays, a type of blood test, employ silver and gold nanoparticles to quickly determine if antigens exist in a patient’s bloodstream. Precious metals, because of their unique physical attributes, are expected to play a role in this shift.Read more on Oilprice.com: Russia looks to become leader in hydrogen techThe fight against cancer: gold and platinumTreatments for certain cancers employ gold and platinum. This makes it an ideal component of many of the devices and tools one sees in a hospital. Silver surged more than 50 percent over the same period, reflecting the common correlation among precious metals during times of financial uncertainty or volatility. Providing financial protection is not the only role that precious metals are playing in the fight against Covid-19. It also appears in X-rays, allowing healthcare workers to track the progress of the operation.Platinum plays a critical role in neuromodulation devices, which help treat Parkinson’s patients’ neurological conditions by sending electric signals to the central nervous system. However, as our society ages and the need for healthcare applications increases, the use and demand for precious metals in medicine will continue to expand. While platinum is typically selected for many uses, palladium can stand in platinum’s stead for biological purposes.Since precious metals are inert, they react with other chemicals in few naturally occurring environments. Chemical structures of cisplatin and transplatin Gold nanoparticles have become a focus of a new type of more targeted treatment. This often overlooked contribution of precious metals to fighting disease speaks to the broader value of these metals and their critical multi-varied roles.This article was originally published on Oilprice.com Researchers are testing therapies that use gold-silica nanoshells to target cancer cells, preventing the diseased areas from spreading. Platinum reduces the likelihood that the body will reject the devices. While not anti-viral, silver does protect against other bacteria and eliminates odors, which helps when wearing the masks for extended periods of time.Silver has been used for thousands of years to prevent microbial infections and was the most important antimicrobial agent in use before the introduction of antibiotics.