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Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the University of Freiburg in Germany have developed a method using electric stimulation to speed up the healing process of chronic wounds, which is a major health problem for diabetic patients and the elderly.

CREDIT: Chalmers University of Technology

The researchers used skin cells that are electrotactic, meaning they respond to electric fields by moving directionally.

By stimulating one wound with electricity and letting one heal without electricity, the team has found that electric stimulation can make wounds heal up to three times faster.


“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”

—  Maria Asplund, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology

The researchers hope to develop wound healing products for consumers in the long run, with the ability to scan wounds and adapt the stimulation based on each individual wound.

The project was funded by the European Research Council.

Why is this Great News?

Diabetes can be a debilitating disease that can cause severe complications. Chronic non-healing wounds leading to infections and amputations are a significant risk factor of diabetes and afflict millions of people worldwide.

Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-extremity amputations in the United States, affecting approximately 14 to 24 percent of patients with diabetes who experience chronic wounds.

Sadly, an estimated quarter of those with ulcers will end up having amputations.

Also, as we age our bodies don’t respond as quickly to injury. So being able to improve the healing process among elderly patients is a welcome advancement!

Anything that improves the healing process of slow-healing chronic wounds is Great News for Diabetics and the Elderly.

Read more > How electricity can heal wounds three times as fast

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