Slow-Healing Wounds Linked To Weaker Electric Fields In Diabetics
Animal models of diabetes show an association between slow healing and poor electrical currents in wounds, according to a new study conducted by University of California, Davis researchers.
The findings could reveal new avenues for wound management in diabetic patients who often experience slow-healing lacerations that can eventually lead to gangrene, ulcers and even amputations. According to some estimations, as much as $25 billion is spent each year on treating diabetic patients with chronic ulcers and wounds related to the disease.
“This is the first demonstration, in diabetic wounds or any chronic wounds, that the naturally occurring electrical signal is impaired and correlated with delayed healing,” said Professor Min Zhao, lead author of the study.
Wound healing and electric fields
With electric fields known to be associated with living tissue, researchers measured the electrical fields in the corneas of mouse models. The mice possessed one of three different types of diabetes: drug-induced, genetic and those fed a high-fat diet.
The researchers discovered that healing was delayed in all three strains of diabetic mice when a small piece of cornea was removed. In healthy mice, the small wound would close in almost 48 hours.
“Correcting this defect offers a totally new approach for chronic and non-healing wounds in diabetes,” said Zhao.
Source: University of California - Davis