Targeted electrical energy applied to wounds has been shown to improve wound-healing rates. However, the mechanisms are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify genes that are responsive to electrical stimulation (ES) in healthy subjects with undamaged skin.
To achieve this objective, study authors used a small, noninvasive ES medical device to deliver a continuous, specific, set sequence of electrical energy impulses over a 48-hour period to the skin of healthy volunteers and compared resultant gene expression by microarray analysis.
Application of this specific ES resulted in differential expression of 105 genes, the majority of which were down-regulated. Postmicroarray analyses revealed there was commonality with a small number of genes that have previously been shown to be up-regulated in skin wounds, including venous leg ulcers.
The specific sequence of ES applied continuously for 48 hours to the skin of healthy patients has the effect of modifying expression in a number of identified genes. The identification of the differential expression in this subset of genes in healthy subjects provides new potential lines of scientific inquiry for identifying similar responses in subjects with slow or poorly healing wounds.
Chloe Lallyett, PhD, is a Science Teacher, Parrs Wood High School, Manchester, United Kingdom; Ching-Yan Chloé Yeung, PhD, is a Postdoctorate Fellow, Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen, Denmark; Rie Harboe Nielson, MD, PhD, is a Physician, Department of Rheumatology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark; Leo A. H. Zeef, PhD, is Experimental Officer, University of Manchester, United Kingdom; David Chapman-Jones, LLM(Med), PhD, is Professor of Healthcare and Director, Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice, University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom; Michael Kjaer, MD, PhD, is Professor of Sports Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Karl E. Kadler, PhD, is Professor of Biochemistry, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank the University of Manchester Bioimaging Facility and Genomics Technologies Facility, especially Michal Smiga.
This work was funded by Synapse Electroceutical Ltd. Synapse Electroceutical Ltd had no part in study design, data collection, or writing of this article.
The authors have disclosed no other financial relationships related to this article.
Submitted May 4, 2017; accepted in revised form October 16, 2017.
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