Computational Analysis of Electrical Stimulation Devices to Promote Wound Healing

A. Anand, K. Liu, V. Sukhotskiy, A. Verma, J. Fournier, G. Gellman, W. Bacon, E.P. Furlani
University at Buffalo, Garwood Medical Devices, LLC,
United States

Keywords: wound healing, electrical simulation therapy, capacitively coupled electrical stimulation wound healing, medical devices, human tissue model, modeling of electrical stimulation wound healing


The treatment of wounds is a fundamental and major challenge in health care. Chronic wounds (e.g. diabetic) are particularly problematic and pervasive, afflicting approximately 6 million patients in the US alone at an annual cost of 20-25 billion dollars. While various methods and have been developed over many decades to treat such wounds, a need exists for a portable and noninvasive device that will accelerate wound healing while providing enhanced patient mobility for improved quality of life. Electrical stimulation (ES) methods are among the most promising and versatile therapies for promoting wound healing in a point-of-care format. In this presentaion, we use mutiphysics computational models to investigate a well-established and efficacious electrical stimulation method. This involves the use of voltage-pulsed capacitively coupled (CC) electrodes placed on the surface of the body, around or on the wound to drive current through it. In this therapy an electric field is generated within tissue that stimulates a multitude of biological processes that collectively promote wound healing. We will present computational models that predict the electromagnetic field induced within human tissue taking into account different tissue layers and their individual frequency-dependent electrical properties. These models are implemented using the COMSOL program ( We will also discuss typical output from such models including field strength penetration as a function of the drive waveform, electrode and coil configurations etc. This analysis enables the rational design of effective miniaturized wearable medical devices for wound healing.