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Studying Wounds’ Electrical Fields

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There is interesting work that has been going on in Scotland for the past five years. Here is the premise: it is based on the idea that there are genes that enable cells to respond to electrical signals in the body and this helps with wound healing.

Why is this important?

Because potentially we could apply electrical fields to a wound and change the movement of cells and speed up the healing process.

The concept is not new. Scientists have known about electrical currents in nerves and wounds since the 1800s when a German physiologist showed electrical changes accompany muscle action. In fact, the EKG is based on electrical signals.

A wound generates an internal electric field that guides cells so they know where to go to heal it.