Electric stimulation may be able to help blood vessels carry white blood cells and oxygen to wounds, speeding healing, a new study suggests.
The study, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Lab on a Chip, found that steady electrical stimulation generates increased permeability across blood vessels, providing new insight into the ways new blood vessels might grow.
The electrical stimulation provided a constant voltage with an accompanying electric current in the presence of fluid flow. The findings indicate that stimulation increases permeability of the blood vessel—an important characteristic that can help wound-healing substances in the blood reach injuries more efficiently.
“There was this speculation that blood vessels could grow better if you stimulated them electrically,” said Shaurya Prakash, senior author of the study and associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at The Ohio State University. “And we found that the response of the cells in our blood vessel models shows significant promise towards changing the permeability of the vessels that can have positive outcomes for our ongoing work in wound healing.”