Electroacupuncture (EA), as a particular type of electrostimulation treatment, has an extensive application in the field of biomedicine. Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) has sparked significant concern attributed to the high electrical output with low cost, whose electrical signals can also be directly usable for electrical stimulation. Here we propose a Chinese medicine EA treatment with the assistance of TENG technology, in which a bidirectional continuous current from a soft-contact freestanding rotary TENG (FR-TENG) is applied to two effective acupoints of rats by inserting electric needles. The TENG-driven EA treatment promotes the performance of gait 2 weeks after as well as the Basso–Beattie–Bresnahan (BBB) score. This elevation last as long as 4 weeks post injury. Moreover, the TENG-driven EA treatment enhances neuron survival in the ventral horn and inhibits astrocyte activation in the lesion site. Therefore, the TENG-driven EA treatment provides a significant neuroprotection effect on spinal cord contusion in rats. Our studies not only demonstrate the possibility of the TENG-driven EA treatment for traumatic central nervous system injuries but also provide an experimental basis for the prevention and treatment of diseases by traditional Chinese medicine treatment.

Triboelectric nanogenerators stimulated electroacupuncture (EA) treatment for promoting the functional recovery after spinal cord injury

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2022.09.010