In people with diabetes, spinal injuries, or poor blood circulation, chronic wounds can take longer to heal. This slow healing can increase the risk of developing infections and in extreme cases, they can even lead to amputation. Therefore, it is crucial to treat them as soon as possible.
Researchers from Chalmers Institute of Technology (CTH) and the University of Freiburg have proposed an interesting technique that speeds up the healing process, making wounds heal three times faster than normal.
“Chronic wounds are a huge societal problem that we don’t hear a lot about. Our discovery of a method that may heal wounds up to three times faster can be a game changer for diabetic and elderly people, among others, who often suffer greatly from wounds that won’t heal,” said Maria Asplund, one of the study authors at CTH.
Researchers have developed a specially engineered biochip that uses electricity for healing wounds
The team used an old hypothesis that suggests that human skin is electrostatic. Which implies that skin cells directionally “migrate” in electric fields. In this study, researchers set out to amplify this effect.
“We were able to show that the old hypothesis about electric stimulation can be used to make wounds heal significantly faster. In order to study exactly how this works for wounds, we developed a kind of biochip on which we cultured skin cells, which we then made tiny wounds in. Then we stimulated one wound with an electric field, which clearly led to it healing three times as fast as the wound that healed without electric stimulation,” Maria Asplund says.
The best part is, researchers didn’t find any side effects on the cultured wounded cells due to the electric stimulation.
The research has been published in Lab on a Chip.