Low-intensity vibration improves angiogenesis and wound healing in diabetic mice

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 11;9(3):e91355. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091355. eCollection 2014.


Chronic wounds represent a significant health problem, especially in diabetic patients. In the current study, we investigated a novel therapeutic approach to wound healing--whole body low-intensity vibration (LIV). LIV is anabolic for bone, by stimulating the release of growth factors, and modulating stem cell proliferation and differentiation. We hypothesized that LIV improves the delayed wound healing in diabetic mice by promoting a pro-healing wound environment. Diabetic db/db mice received excisional cutaneous wounds and were subjected to LIV (0.4 g at 45 Hz) for 30 min/d or a non-vibrated sham treatment (controls). Wound tissue was collected at 7 and 15 d post-wounding and wound healing, angiogenesis, growth factor levels and wound cell phenotypes were assessed. LIV increased angiogenesis and granulation tissue formation at day 7, and accelerated wound closure and re-epithelialization over days 7 and 15. LIV also reduced neutrophil accumulation and increased macrophage accumulation. In addition, LIV increased expression of pro-healing growth factors and chemokines (insulin-like growth factor-1, vascular endothelial growth factor and monocyte chemotactic protein-1) in wounds. Despite no evidence of a change in the phenotype of CD11b+ macrophages in wounds, LIV resulted in trends towards a less inflammatory phenotype in the CD11b- cells. Our findings indicate that LIV may exert beneficial effects on wound healing by enhancing angiogenesis and granulation tissue formation, and these changes are associated with increases in pro-angiogenic growth factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Granulation Tissue / metabolism
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Phenotype
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy