Ultrasound accelerating wound healing

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Low-intensity ultrasound can reduce healing times for diabetic ulcers, bedsores and other chronic wounds by a third, researchers have found.

The ultrasound transmits vibrations through the skin that activate a protein pathway, which in turn helps fibroblast cells target the open wound, according to research from the University of Sheffield's Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics.

Once these cells are “woken up” by the ultrasound, they help stimulate and accelerate the natural healing process. The treatment also reduces the risk of wounds becoming infected.

Ultrasound treatment is especially effective when treating seniors and people with diabetes, according to the researchers. Findings were published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

“Because it is just speeding up the normal processes, the treatment doesn't carry the risk of side effects that are often associated with drug treatments,” wrote lead researcher Mark Bass, Ph.D., “We could expect to see it in broad clinical use within three or four years.”

Bass predicts that because of ultrasound's already proven effectiveness, the treatment could be further refined for quicker healing.