The Application of an Exogenous Linear and Radial Electrical Field to an In Vitro Chronic Diabetic Ulcer Model for Evaluation as a Potential Treatment
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Chronic diabetic ulcers affect approximately 15% of patients with diabetes worldwide. Currently, applied electric fields are being investigated as a reliable and cost-effective treatment. This in vitro study aimed to determine the effects of a constant and spatially variable electric field on three factors: endothelial cell migration, proliferation, and angiogenic gene expression. Results for a constant electric field of 0.01 V demonstrated that migration at short time points increased 20-fold and proliferation at long time points increased by a factor of 1.40. Results for a spatially variable electric field did not increase directional migration, but increased proliferation by a factor of 1.39 and by a factor of 1.55 after application of 1.00 V and 0.01 V, respectively. Both constant and spatially variable applied fields increased angiogenic gene expression. Future research that explores a narrower range of intensity levels may more clearly identify the optimal design specifications of a spatially variable electric field.