Vibration could heal chronic diabetic wounds, researchers find

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Diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds might heal more quickly if they are exposed to gentle vibrations, suggests new research from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Stony Brook University in New York.

The investigators designed a mouse study to test whether low-amplitude vibrations improve healing. When wounds received vibrations five times a week for 30 minutes — via the mice being placed on a vibrating plate — they healed more quickly than wounds in a control group, they discovered.

The vibration was linked to the formation of granulation tissue and other pro-healing changes, such as proliferation of molecules called chemokines, the team found.

"The exciting thing about this intervention is how easily it could be translated to people," said UIC's Timothy J. Koh, Ph.D.

Whole body low-intensity vibration can be delivered to humans by a platform that creates uniform vertical oscillations, the researchers stated.

Already, a clinical trial is being planned, and humans are involved in a similar study testing whether vibration can protect against bone loss, Koh said.

Findings appear in PLOS One.

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