Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) promote early wound healing and myofibroblast proliferation in diabetic rats

Lai Ying Gladys Cheing, Xiaohui Li, Lin Huang, Rachel Lai Chu Kwan, Kwok Kuen Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Reduced collagen deposition possibly leads to slow recovery of tensile strength in the healing process of diabetic cutaneous wounds. Myofibroblasts are transiently present during wound healing and play a key role in wound closure and collagen synthesis. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) have been shown to enhance the tensile strength of diabetic wounds. In this study, we examined the effect of PEMF on wound closure and the presence of myofibroblasts in Sprague-Dawley rats after diabetic induction using streptozotocin. A full-thickness square-shaped dermal wound (2cm×2cm) was excised aseptically on the shaved dorsum. The rats were randomly divided into PEMF-treated (5mT, 25Hz, 1h daily) and control groups. The results indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups in blood glucose level and body weight. However, PEMF treatment significantly enhanced wound closure (days 10 and 14 post-wounding) and re-epithelialization (day 10 post-wounding), although these improvements were no longer observed at later stages of the wound healing process. Using immunohistochemistry against α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), we demonstrated that significantly more myofibroblasts were detected on days 7 and 10 post-wounding in the PEMF group when compared to the control group. We hypothesized that PEMF would increase the myofibroblast population, contributing to wound closure during diabetic wound healing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Collagen
  • Diabetes
  • Epithelialization
  • PEMF
  • Pulsed electromagnetic fields
  • Tensile strength
  • Wound closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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