Alvarez OM, et al. The healing of superficial skin wounds is stimulated by external electrical current. J Invest Dermatol 1983;81:144-48.
We studied the effects of direct electric current supplied by an energized silver-coated electrode on dermal and epidermal wound healing. Keratome-induced wounds (0.3 mm deep) on the skin of young domestic pigs were treated with either an energized (50-300 microA) electrode (DC), an unenergized electrode (placebo), or left untreated. Wounds were excised on days 1-7 after wounding and the epidermis was separated from the dermis. The epidermal sheet was evaluated for reepithelialization and the dermis was assayed for collagen biosynthetic capacity. Dermal collagen production among treatments did not differ markedly on days 1-4 after wounding. However, a highly significant increase (p less than 0.001) in the collagen synthetic capacity was observed on days 5, 6, and 7 in wound treated with DC. There was no significant difference in collagen synthesis among treatments when collagen production was corrected for DNA content. The rate of wound epithelialization was also significantly accelerated (p less than 0.05) in DC-treated wounds. These results suggest that the proliferative and/or migratory capacity of epithelial and connective tissue cells involved in repair and regeneration can be affected by an electrical field.