A new, low-cost wound dressing developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers could dramatically speed up healing in a surprising way.
The method leverages energy generated from a patient’s own body motions to apply gentle electrical pulses at the site of an injury.
In rodent tests, the dressings reduced healing times to a mere three days compared to nearly two weeks for the normal healing process.
“We were surprised to see such a fast recovery rate,” says Xudong Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at UW–Madison. “We suspected that the devices would produce some effect, but the magnitude was much more than we expected.”
Wang and collaborators described their wound dressing method today (Nov. 29, 2018) in the journal ACS Nano.
Researchers have known for several decades that electricity can be beneficial for skin healing, but most electrotherapy units in use today require bulky electrical equipment and complicated wiring to deliver powerful jolts of electricity.
“Acute and chronic wounds represent a substantial burden in healthcare worldwide,” says collaborator Angela Gibson, professor of surgery at UW–Madison and a burn surgeon and director of wound healing services at UW Health. “The use of electrical stimulation in wound healing is uncommon.”
In contrast with existing methods, the new dressing is much more straightforward.
“Our device is as convenient as a bandage you put on your skin,” says Wang.
The new dressings consist of small electrodes for the injury site that are linked to a band holding energy-harvesting units called nanogenerators, which are looped around a wearer’s torso. The natural expansion and contraction of the wearer’s ribcage during breathing powers the nanogenerators, which deliver low-intensity electric pulses.
“The nature of these electrical pulses is similar to the way the body generates an internal electric field,” says Wang.
And, those low-power pulses won’t harm healthy tissue like traditional, high-power electrotherapy devices might.
In fact, the researchers showed that exposing cells to high-energy electrical pulses caused them to produce almost five times more reactive oxygen species — major risk factors for cancer and cellular aging — than did cells that were exposed to the nanogenerators.
Also a boon to healing: They determined that the low-power pulses boosted viability for a type of skin cell called fibroblasts, and exposure to the nanogenerator’s pulses encouraged fibroblasts to line up (a crucial step in wound healing) and produce more biochemical substances that promote tissue growth.
“These findings are very exciting,” says collaborator Weibo Cai, a professor of radiology at UW–Madison. “The detailed mechanisms will still need to be elucidated in future work.”
In that vein, the researchers aim to tease out precisely how the gentle pulses aid in healing. The scientists also plan to test the devices on pig skin, which closely mimics human tissue.
And, they are working to give the nanogenerators additional capabilities—tweaking their structure to allow for energy harvesting from small imperceptible twitches in the skin or the thrumming pulse of a heartbeat.
“The impressive results in this study represent an exciting new spin on electrical stimulation for many different wound types, given the simplicity of the design,” says Gibson, who will collaborate with the team to confirm the reproducibility of these results in human skin models.
If the team is successful, the devices could help solve a major challenge for modern medicine.
“We think our nanogenerator could be the most effective electrical stimulation approach for many therapeutic purposes,” says Wang.
And because the nanogenerators consist of relatively common materials, price won’t be an issue.
“I don’t think the cost will be much more than a regular bandage,” says Wang. “The device in itself is very simple and convenient to fabricate.”
The Latest on: Wound healing
via Google News
The Latest on: Wound healing
- The global wound care market is growing at a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period2018–2024on October 14, 2019 at 3:51 am
Growing Focus on the Development and Commercialization of Wound Biologics • The emergence of Stem Cell Therapy for Wound Healing • New Product Approvals/Launches • Increasing Number of Surgical ...
- Medical Fish Skin Company Kerecis Presents New Research at the Symposium on Advanced Wound Careon October 11, 2019 at 9:44 am
Fish skin also contains Omega3 fatty acids, which enhance wound healing. "Fish skin is becoming a mainstream therapy for treating severe wounds, including diabetic or burn wounds," said G. Fertram ...
- Small molecule FAK activator promotes human intestinal epithelial monolayer wound closure and mouse ulcer healingon October 11, 2019 at 2:13 am
GI mucosal healing requires epithelial sheet migration. The non-receptor tyrosine kinase focal adhesion kinase (FAK) stimulates epithelial motility. A virtual screen identified the small drug-like FAK ...
- Scientists join forces to shed new light on ageing and wound healingon October 10, 2019 at 5:18 am
Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Bristol have been granted £4m to investigate how cells govern the processes of ageing and wound healing and how this is influenced by the circadian ...
- Mölnlycke Invites You to “Look Inside” Wound Care Dressings and Discover Why “Just As Good” is Not Good Enough at Fall SAWC Conferenceon October 7, 2019 at 6:47 am
When it comes into contact with wound exudate, Exufiber transforms into a gel that locks in exudate and facilitates moist wound healing and ease of removal in one piece during dressing changes. 6 ...
- Researchers discover a new defensive mechanism against bacterial wound infectionson October 7, 2019 at 6:17 am
Wound inflammation that results in impaired wound healing can have serious consequences for patients. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new defensive mechanism ...
- New defensive mechanism against bacterial wound infections discoveredon October 4, 2019 at 11:10 am
Wound inflammation which results in impaired wound healing can have serious consequences for patients. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new defensive mechanism ...
- The Global Wound Care Market is Projected to Reach USD 24.8 Billion by 2024 from USD 19.8 Billion in 2019, Growing at a CAGR of 4.6%on October 4, 2019 at 9:14 am
The growth of the industry is driven primarily by factors such as rising incidences of road accidents & injuries, growing use of regenerative medicine, and increasing prevalence of conditions that ...
- New defensive mechanism against bacterial wound infectionson October 4, 2019 at 9:08 am
Wound inflammation which results in impaired wound healing can have serious consequences for patients. Researchers have discovered a new defensive mechanism which enables our skin to actively kill ...
via Bing News