Hard-to-heal chronic wounds may benefit from the application of an electrical stimulus that promotes the growth of blood vessels and increases blood supply to the wound, according to a report from the University of Cincinnati.
Researchers exposed vascular tissue cells to electrical fields with a stimulus frequency as high as 7.5 billion GHz and as low as 60 Hz for 1 hour per day for 7 days. The rate of wound healing was observed for 24 hours after each treatment.
Study results showed high-frequency electrical stimuli, similar to those generated by cell phones and Wi-Fi networks, increased the growth of blood vessel networks by as much as 50%. However, low-frequency electrical stimuli did not produce such an effect. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati developed a specialized antenna to apply the electrical signals to a localized wound as part of their work, which is now the subject of a provisional patent.
“Electrical stimulation activates the pathway for angiogenesis, and the vascular network growth is enhanced,” Toloo Taghian, a physics doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati, stated. “We can expect that, as a result, wound closure would be enhanced, leading to a faster healing.”