A research team from Tel Aviv University and Harvard University have developed a noninvasive method that they suggest may help prevent the scarring that results after second- and third-degree burns.

The noninvasive pIRE technique uses microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, nonthermal electric fields to control the proliferation of collagen cells that cause the scarring, according to a media release from American Friends of Tel Aviv University.

“People don’t die from scars, but they do suffer from them,” says Dr Alexander Golberg from Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, in the release. “We believe that the technology we developed, called partial irreversible electroporation (pIRE), can be used to prevent debilitating burn scars from forming.”

He, along with Dr Martin Yamush of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, conducted the research for the study, which was published recently in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

In their study, the researchers used the technique to treat burn injuries in rats via five therapy sessions conduced over a period of 6 months. Then, they assessed the injuries using an imaging technique developed by Drs Martin Villiger and Brett Bouma’s group at the Wellman Center of Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. The researchers found a 57.9% reduction of the scar area in comparison with untreated scars, the release explains.

“Scarring is a very complex process, involving inflammation and metabolism,” Golberg states in the release. “We have found a way to partially prevent scar formation in animal models. Next we need to raise funding to develop a device for the clinical study on humans.”

[Source(s): American Friends of Tel Aviv University, Science Daily]