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Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Wound Healing

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Article number40
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>19/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Functional Biomaterials
Issue number2
Volume12
Number of pages17
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Electrical stimulation (ES) can serve as a therapeutic modality accelerating the healing of wounds, particularly chronic wounds which have impaired healing due to complications from underlying pathology. This review explores how ES affects the cellular mechanisms of wound healing, and its effectiveness in treating acute and chronic wounds. Literature searches with no publication date restrictions were conducted using the Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, Google Scholar and PubMed databases, and 30 full-text articles met the inclusion criteria. In vitro and in vivo experiments investigating the effect of ES on the general mechanisms of healing demonstrated increased epithelialization, fibroblast migration, and vascularity around wounds. Six in vitro studies demonstrated bactericidal effects upon exposure to alternating and pulsed current. Twelve randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigated the effect of pulsed current on chronic wound healing. All reviewed RCTs demonstrated a larger reduction in wound size and increased healing rate when compared to control groups. In conclusion, ES therapy can contribute to improved chronic wound healing and potentially reduce the financial burden associated with wound management. However, the variations in the wound characteristics, patient demographics, and ES parameters used across studies present opportunities for systematic RCT studies in the future.