Medics Test Electric Shock Bandages to Speed Healing

By Gary Cutlack on at

Researchers who deliberately cut holes into the bodies of willing medical research students claim that stimulating wounds with small electric currents helps them heal quicker, with the end result being a possible world in which even plasters and bandages need bloody charging up every night.

The study was carried out by researchers from The University of Manchester. They cut two holes into the arms of willing students, leaving one to heal naturally while stimulating the other with small electric currents. The theory being that small currents stimulate the skin and encourage the growth of new blood vessels in the area -- mending the wounds quicker. And it worked.

The team is now working to evaluate devices that replicate the miniature shock therapy system, setting up a joint study to try to come up a mass market, cost-effective solution that could speed the healing of chronic wounds that refuse to fix themselves. This could free up valuable hospital beds for people who've fallen over while drunk.

Dr Ardeshir Bayat from the university said: "This research has shown the effectiveness of electrical stimulation in wound healing, and therefore we believe this technology has the potential to be applied to any situation where faster wound healing is particularly desirable, such as following human or veterinary surgical wounds, accidental, or military trauma and in sports injuries." [PLOS via University of Manchester]