It is already recognised in human wound care that the use of Medical Larvae is an acceptable and cost effective way to debride chronic wounds. To date it was thought that larvae effectively debride necrotic and sloughy tissue by producing proteases that break down the devitalised protein that delays healing, but new research suggests they may also 'sing' while they work!
Cellular resonance is a theory that is recognised to stimulate cell function and enable physiological optimisation. By exposing sub functional cells to specific frequencies of resonance they can be effectively stimulated to achieve a targeted response. The use of resonance for promotion of wound management is not a new idea and is the action attributed to magnetic therapy and products that utilise electrical impulses and piezoelectric sensors to stimulate cells at specific frequencies.
The research unit based at the school of pharmacy, Nottingham University (UK) is using nano-technology to measure a frequency range produced by larval therapy while they debride necrotic tissue within challenging wounds. Professor David Pritchard who has been instrumental in this study has said "We are astounded that maggots appear to sing within wounds showing a range of different 'voice' frequencies that appears as though they are almost harmonising". The resonance we think we have found produced by the medical larvae produces a vocal range that may promote optimal fibroblast proliferation and may enhance proteases activity. The resonance produced appears to be consistent with research demonstrated by Willemse, Janssen et al in 2007.
The PhD students responsible for the study, Louise Siller and Sarah Carter are currently assessing the range of frequencies produced by the medical larvae, much like listening to the individual altos, tenors and sopranos, It is thought that by encouraging maggots to sing for their supper researchers can identify the best strains from which to breed a new generation of medical maggot.
Since the start of the study David has dissected several of the best singers and identified structures that look like vocal chords. He has also managed to teach a small group to harmonise on command. Unfortunately due to the short life cycle of the fly his achievements are to date limited.
One of the most recent recordings he has made is on YouTube here:
Nature Biotechnology 25, 170 - 172 (2007)
doi:10.1038/nbt0207-170, ATP and FRET—a cautionary note Marieke Willemse1, Edwin Janssen 1,3, Frank de Lange 1,2,4, Bé Wieringa1 & Jack Fransen 1,2
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Article by Georgie Hollis: written and published for www.vetwoundlibrary.com April 1 2018