A closeup of a ring and "flower" electrode attached to a translucent piece of material with fainter wires. The flower and ring electrodes are made of molybdenum that has a somewhat accordion fold back-and-forth cross-section.

Electronic Bandage Speeds Wound Healing

We’re a long way from the dermal regenerators in Star Trek, but researchers at Northwestern University have made a leap forward in the convenient use of electrotherapy for wound healing.

Using a ring and center “flower” electrode, this bioresorbable molybdenum device restores the natural bioelectric field across a wound to stimulate healing in diabetic ulcers. Only 30 minutes of electrical stimulation per day was able to show a 30% improvement in healing speed when used with diabetic mice. Power is delivered wirelessly and data is transmitted back via NFC, meaning the device can remain on a patient without leaving them tethered when not being treated.

Healing can be tracked by the change in electrical resistance across the wound since the wound will dry out as it heals. Over a period of six months, the central flower electrode will dissolve into the patient’s body and the rest of the device can be removed. Next steps include testing in a larger animal model and then clinical trials on human diabetic patients.

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered using electricity in medicine.

Continue reading “Electronic Bandage Speeds Wound Healing”

Shock Yourself To Better Health!


Flickr user [n Bryan] has been keeping busy lately, trying his hand at developing some cranial electrotherapy stimulation instruments for home use. While visions of [Peter Venkman] electrocuting hapless college students initially came to mind, this sort of therapy is not the same thing, nor as painful as what is depicted in the film.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation relies on small currents which are pulsed along a patient’s skull at specific bioactive frequencies. It is believed that these treatments can have positive responses on the nervous system, and in fact has been approved by the FDA for certain ailments such as insomnia and anxiety. [n Bryan’s] rig is controlled by a PIC 16F88, which generates both the carrier and pre-programmed bioactive frequencies used in electrotherapy sessions.

As with all things that involve strapping electrodes to your head, take caution if you plan on replicating his work in any way, shape or form. With that said, we’d be willing to give it a shot.

[via BuildLounge]