Preventing Scars after Injury with Partial Irreversible Electroporation

J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Nov;136(11):2297-2304. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.06.620. Epub 2016 Jul 5.


Preventing the formation of hypertrophic scars, especially those that are a result of major trauma or burns, would have enormous impact in the fields of regenerative and trauma medicine. In this report, we introduce a noninvasive method to prevent scarring based on nonthermal partial irreversible electroporation. Contact burn injuries in rats were treated with varying treatment parameters to optimize the treatment protocol. Scar surface area and structural properties of the scar were assessed with histology and non-invasive, longitudinal imaging with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. We found that partial irreversible electroporation using 200 pulses of 250 V and 70 μs duration, delivered at 3 Hz every 20 days during a total of five therapy sessions after the initial burn injury, resulted in a 57.9% reduction of the scar area compared with untreated scars and structural features approaching those of normal skin. Unlike humans, rats do not develop hypertrophic scars. Therefore, the use of a rat animal model is the limiting factor of this work.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns / complications*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / etiology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / pathology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroporation / methods*
  • Female
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence