Medical

Electrical stimulation proven to accelerate wound healing

Electrical stimulation proven...
Future treatment of cuts and lacerations to the skin may involve electrical stimulation in addition to the old dressing and bandage
Future treatment of cuts and lacerations to the skin may involve electrical stimulation in addition to the old dressing and bandage
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A wound treated via electrical stimulation (right) versus one left to heal normally (left), after 10 days healing time
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A wound treated via electrical stimulation (right) versus one left to heal normally (left), after 10 days healing time
Future treatment of cuts and lacerations to the skin may involve electrical stimulation in addition to the old dressing and bandage
2/2
Future treatment of cuts and lacerations to the skin may involve electrical stimulation in addition to the old dressing and bandage

A study of skin wound healing in 40 (human) volunteers has found that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up the healing process. The researchers hope to now develop and test dressings and devices that could be used in treatment of human or veterinary surgical wounds, sports injuries, and other serious skin trauma.

Participants in the study were inflicted with two identical wounds on each arm. One arm's wounds were left to heal normally while the other's were treated with tiny electrical shocks on four occasions over a two-week period. The electrical pulses stimulated a process called angiogenesis, which results in the formation of new blood vessels and increased blood flow to the damaged area. Wounds treated with electrical stimulation had a significantly smaller surface area, volume, diameter, and depth than those left to heal normally – they healed faster than normal, essentially.

The University of Manchester team that carried out the study has now partnered with a company called Oxford BioElectronics on a five-year project to develop technology to stimulate the same response in real-world clinical practice. It's believed that the work could transform how skin wounds are managed and treated.

A wound treated via electrical stimulation (right) versus one left to heal normally (left), after 10 days healing time
A wound treated via electrical stimulation (right) versus one left to heal normally (left), after 10 days healing time

"When used in acute and chronic wounds, bandages are essentially just a covering," says study lead author Ardeshir Bayat. "With this technology we hope that the dressings will be able to make a significant functional contribution to healing the wounds and getting the patient back to full health as quickly as possible."

The future of wound healing is looking very bright indeed. Besides this electrical stimulation technology, scientists are working on nanoparticle therapies, artificial scabs, and specially-contoured silicone plaster. With luck, several options will soon make their way into the field. And then perhaps chronic wounds (wounds that remain open for longer than six weeks) will become a thing of the past.

A paper describing the research methodology and results in more detail has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Source: University of Manchester

7 comments
olavn
This seems to be what Robert Becker found several decades ago. Read his book The body electric.
Tas Rush
Olav i agree.It has been proved already at least a couple of dozen times that microcurrents in the region of 50 microamps to 500 microamps increase ATP production. A related paper a few years ago called:- "Ultra-low microcurrent in the management of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and chronic wounds: Report of twelve cases and discussion of mechanism of action" showed significant improvement to various conditions. The fact that it has never been implemented into common usage is a testament of how various interest groups would not find in their interest.In any case I constructed what is essentially a very low power ,low frequency square wave oscillator for about $8 in case I ever need to use it on myself in the treatment of the above illnesses. Read the paper below.
http://www.medsci.org/v07p0029.htm
Robert Gilley
Has there been or is there any research on electrical or sonic stimulation on arthritic joints?
Expanded Viewpoint
Way back in like the 1800s I think it was, someone was doing research on using electricity to heal broken bones and other things too. He put a small electrode on each side of the damaged area and healing was sped up. Even in High Technology Magazine there was an article about using micro-currents to decrease the time needed for tissue regeneration/repair. Rife and others were using frequencies that were applied both directly as well as indirectly back in the 1940s at least. So putting energy into a wound of some kind in order to aid healing is not very new, is it?
Randy
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Could one use one of the commercially available devices to do this?
Greyfox01
I've had low back pain off & on for 30 years from working with horses and extreme mountain biking. I used a "Tens Unit" for the last fifteen yeas to get back on the feet when I go down with sudden back pain.
Two diodes one on either side, or two on either side of the pain zone for twenty minutes three time a day (or even once a day) and the pain just floats away. I tried it my hands, my knees, and even on my lungs. It works every time to some degree. The NFL have been using electrical stimulation for years on knee and back injuries.
You can buy a tens unite at most large drug stores for from $40 to $59.
Remember theses products are designed and developed to make someone or a business wealthy, and so their simple no-brainer secrets are held close to the chest. Once the patents expire the technology is free for the taking.
Derek Howe
So what I'm taking away here is that the next time I get a cut, to stick a fork in an outlet, CHECK!