Wound healing is a complex process which can be impeded by the presence of accumulated cell fluid or oedema. A simple and convenient method for the assessment of wound oedema would aid improvement in patient care. In this proof of concept study we investigated whether bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy has the potential to provide such a tool. A number of important observations were made. Firstly, the method was highly reproducible and data can be obtained from electrodes located at different positions around the region of interest; important given the highly variable topography of surface wounds, e.g. burns. Secondly, the method was highly sensitive with the potential to detect changes of as little as 20 μl in extracellular fluid. Thirdly the relative changes in R0, R∞ and Ri following sub-cutaneous injections of saline were consistent with redistribution of water from the extracellular to intracellular space and /or removal from the local area as may occur during wound healing.


wound healing, bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy, localized tissue water