Experimental wound healing with electrical stimulation

Artif Organs. 1999 May;23(5):460-2. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1594.1999.06365.x.


The effect of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) stimulation was studied on experimental pressure ulcer healing in a new monoplegic pig model. The study was conducted in 30 healthy young Hanford minipigs. The rate of wound healing, histology, vascularization, collagen formation, microbiology, perfusion, and the mechanical strength of the healed wounds were studied. Normal pigskin was compared to denervated control and denervated AC and DC stimulated healed skin. Hind limb denervation was by right unilateral extradural rhizotomies from the L2 to S1 nerve roots. Reproducible uniformly controlled Stage III or higher tissue ulcers were created. When compared to the control wounds, both the AC and DC stimulated wounds showed reduced healing time and increased perfusion in the early phases of healing. DC stimulation reduced the wound area more rapidly than AC, but AC stimulation reduced the wound volume more rapidly than DC. The electrical stimulation did not reduce the strength of the healing wounds below those of the nonstimulated controls. The applied current appears to orient new collagen formation even in the absence of neural influences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Denervation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Hindlimb / innervation
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Paralysis / complications*
  • Pressure Ulcer / metabolism
  • Pressure Ulcer / microbiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / pathology
  • Pressure Ulcer / physiopathology
  • Pressure Ulcer / therapy*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / physiopathology
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / surgery
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Wound Healing


  • Collagen