Case Number 113015 - Electric Fields for Wound Healing Therapy
Contact: Doug Nienaber
Description: Drs. Narmoneva and Kogan and their teams, recently discovered that a specific electric field modality promotes can significantly improve wound healing.
The wound repair and chronic wound closure market in the US is about a $4 billion per year problem. Therapies are being deployed for a number of diseases including, complications from diabetes, burn, trauma, and immuno-compromised patients. In particular, chronic diabetic ulcers, in 2007 in the US, were responsible for more than 27% of $116 billion in diabetic health care costs.
Common treatment procedures for such chronic wounds include tissue debridement, moist wound dressings, antibiotic therapy of infected wounds, mechanical load relief. However, despite these procedures, healing is often inadequate and can result in complications, extending healing times and wound reoccurrence. In addition to these approaches, more complex treatments to improve wound healing include hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and negative-pressure wound therapy (NWPT). In HBOT, a patient is placed in a high-oxygen chamber so their wound can be exposed to high levels of oxygen. NWPT uses intermittent or continuous subatmospheric pressure through a special pump connected to a special dressing covered with an adhesive drape, which also collects wound discharge and exudate. Together, NWPT and wound dressings are approximately 30% of the overall US market. However, both HBOT and NWPT have their drawbacks: neither is 100% effective in all wounds; they are expensive; HBO can cause middle ear and pulmonary barotraumas and myopia and contraindicated for patients with poor cardiac output and severe obstructive pulmonary disease; NWPT requires a special bandage, which is changed regularly, and a potentially cumbersome pump.
Our researchers recently discovered that a specific electric field modality promotes activation of capillary cells and vessel growth. A significant factor in chronic wounds is insufficient blood vessel formation. Their current results show an increase in the growth of blood vessel networks by as much as 50% using a specific electric modality. They have also designed an antenna to allow the stimulatory electric to be applied in an efficient non-contacting configuration. This amplitude is a low-field amplitude and is comparable to the electric field amplitude emitted by cell phones. The team has also demonstrated the efficacy of this treatment to improve diabetic wound healing in diabetic mice.
The technology has the following advantages:
- It is non-pharmacological (no systemic side-effects associated with drugs);
- It is non-contact (no contact is required between electrodes/antennae and patient’s skin);
- It can be used along with standard wound care (no need to remove the dressing);
- Potentially improves patient comfort and compliance.
A non-provisional patent has been filed (14/490,584)
Further information can be found on UC News: UC Research Tests Range of Electrical Frequencies that Help Heal Chronic Wounds.