Spark Wave® Therapy – Accelerates Chronic Wound Healing



Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has a significant positive effect to accelerate chronic wound healing. This study investigated whether the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)–related pathway has involved in ESWT enhancement of diabetic wound healing.




A dorsal skin defect (area, 6 × 5 cm) in a streptozotocin-induced diabetes rodent model was used. Thirty-two male Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Group I consisted of nondiabetic control; group II, diabetic control without treatment; group III, diabetic rats received ESWT; and group IV, rats received Avastin (a VEGF monoclonal antibody) on day 0 (post-wounding immediately) to day 7 and ESWT on day 3 and day 7. The wound healing was assessed clinically. The VEGF, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and Ki-67 were analyzed with immunohistochemical staining. The mRNA expression of mitogen-activated protein kinase–related genes was measured by real-time quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.




The results revealed wound size was significantly reduced in the ESWT-treated rats as compared to the diabetic control (p < 0.01). The positive effect of ESWT-increasing wound healing was significantly suppressed in pretreatment of the Avastin group. Histological findings revealed significant increase in neo-vessels in the ESWT group as compared to the control. In immunohistochemical stain, significant increases in VEGF, eNOS, and Ki-67 expressions were noted in the ESWT group as compared to that in controls. However, Avastin suppressed the shockwave effect and down-regulation of VEGF, eNOS, and Ki-67 expressions in the Avastin-ESWT group as compared to that in the ESWT alone group. We found that highly mRNA expression of Kras, Raf1, Mek1, Jnkk, Jnk, and Jun at early stage in the ESWT group, as compared to the diabetic control.



These evidences indicated treatment with multiple sessions of ESWT significantly enhanced diabetic wound healing associated with increased neovascularization and tissue regeneration. The bio-mechanism of ESWT-enhanced wound healing is correlated with VEGF and mitogen-activated protein kinasemediated pathway.




Beneficial Effects of Spark Wave Therapy:



  • Up-regulates eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) expression → induces neovascularization & angiogenesis
  • Up-regulates VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression → induces neovascularization & angiogenesis
  • Increases topical anti-inflammatory response
  • Up-regulates cell proliferation → enhances wound epithelialization
  • Significantly reduces wound size
  • Significantly reduces complete wound-healing time
  • Non-invasive modality to improve tissue regeneration in chronic diabetic wounds




1. Chen, R. F. et al. Modulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and mitogen-activated protein kinase-related pathway involved in extracorporeal shockwave therapy accelerate diabetic wound healing. Wound Repair Regen. (2019). doi:10.1111/wrr.12686