Electricity underlies just about every process in the body in some way, and researchers at University of Manchester are studying it to create electronic bandages that can speed up healing. They recruited 40 volunteers who had two identical wounds created on their inner arms using a punch biopsy. One was allowed to heal naturally, while the other was treated with electric current delivered in pulses over a period of two weeks.
The researchers showed substantial increase in new vascular growth within the treated wound that grew smaller faster than the untreated one. The new findings, published in PLoS ONE, will form the basis for the creation of electronic bandages and other wound healing devices that would be optimized to a specific task. The University of Manchester team is partnering with Oxford BioElectronics Ltd., an Abingdon, England firm, to embark on a five year project to develop and test such devices and help bring them to market.
Dr Ardeshir Bayat, the principal investigator from U of Manchester, said: “This research has shown the effectiveness of electrical stimulation in wound healing, and therefore we believe this technology has the potential to be applied to any situation where faster wound healing is particularly desirable, such as following human or veterinary surgical wounds, accidental, or military trauma and in sports injuries.”