University of Manchester researchers are using electrical stimulation to accelerate wound healing. This can be particularly useful for lower limb venous and diabetic ulcers, and for those with compromised immune systems.
In a recent study, 1/2 centimeter sized superficial wounds were created on the upper arm of 40 volunteers. One wound was left to heal normally, while the other was treated with electrical pulses for two weeks. These pulses stimulated the angiogenesis process, increasing the blood flow to the damaged area. The result was significantly faster healing.
Ardeshir Bayat and Oxford BioElectronics are now developing devices and dressings based on this technology. They will stimulate the nervous system to generate nerve impulses to the site of skin repair.