Mechanosensitive Ion Channels and Cellular Responses to Microcurrent Stimulation

Mechanosensitive Ion Channels and Cellular Responses to Microcurrent Stimulation

Bioelectric reactions govern each function in the human body. It can range from the heart pumping blood or skin regenerating and repairing itself. All these functions occur at cellular levels. There are various elements in the body, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, to carry these electric charges. These elements form ion channels to pass through the cell membrane.

The cells inside the cell membrane are negatively charged, and those outside are positively charged. This allows the cells to react, forming ion channels and letting the charge flow for specific functions. 

Collagen formation and skin repair functions may slow down as we age due to various internal and external factors. The wound healing slows as we age due to the delayed proliferative response. There may not be ways to entirely stop the inevitable aging process; however, we can slow it down with therapies such as microcurrent and radiofrequency.

What are Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Skin?

Our body works using bioelectricity, generating small currents to ensure various functions. Different stimuli, including mechanical forces, initiate and regulate cellular processes. The cells have a mechanosensor in the membrane to allow this mechanical stimuli conversion to a biochemical or electrical response. 

This is where Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels create a group of ion-gating channels. These respond to direct physical force or microcurrents for cell function. Stretch-activated ion channels are present for many bodily functions in mammals.

The mechanosensitive ions in the skin have a function to respond to pressure changes, stretching, touch, and vibration change. They also respond to external stimuli like microcurrents with the help of sensory modalities. 

One way the mechanosensitive ions and cellular response can be used is to promote wound healing in the skin. The scientists used a skin patch with glucose-responsive enzymatic-biofuel-cell (EBC) that auto-generates electricity. In vitro, cells had an accelerated fibroblast function, better angiogenesis, and matrix synthesis. 

Moreover, these cells had a calcium ion influx due to the mechanosensitive ion channels. To be precise, a 3% linear change was seen in the cell membrane. This helped collagen formation and enhanced blood vessel formation to repair wounds quickly.  

The experiment proved that EBC helped increase wound healing by promoting endothelial cells in the skin tissue. Therefore, electricity can effectively activate mechanosensitive ion channels and the calcium influx. 

Understanding Cellular Responses to Microcurrent Stimulation

As you read, the cells use negative and positive charges to transfer ions and nutrients from one cell to another. Simply put, skin cells can sense and respond to microcurrents with the help of these enhanced mechanosensitive ion channels. 

Microcurrent stimulation encourages skin cells to generate more ATP(adenosine triphosphate), producing collagen and elastin. When the microcurrent passes, ATP and fibroblasts form a resource for the cells to regenerate, repair, and rejuvenate the skin. These cellular responses are essential in stimulating cells and muscles underneath the skin. 

In other words, microcurrent is like a much-needed workout for your facial muscles. You'd be surprised that we have more than 30 muscles on each side of our face. Therefore, microcurrent can be an effective solution at both cellular and muscular levels. 

Another thing to note is that microcurrent boosts pre-angiogenic responses in endothelial cells. Due to this, blood circulation increases in these cells. Moreover, microcurrent has an anti-inflammatory effect on the cells helping in remodeling and proliferation. This has a direct link to quick wound healing. 

Does Microcurrent Stimulation Rejuvenate Skin?

In a recent study, endothelial cells were monitored in vitro before and after the application of microcurrent. Also, the behavior of these cells was studied at 8, 12, and 24 hours during the exposure to 100mV/mm electric current. It was observed that the cells assembled in a random cobblestone morphology without any current exposure. 

On the other hand, image analysis showed a dramatic reorientation with their axis perpendicular to the current application. This helps in angiogenesis and new blood vessel regeneration in endothelial cells. As a result, the cell's reorganization and migration are alone responsible for rejuvenation. Microcurrents may migrate these cells where repair and rejuvenation may be needed. 

Non-invasive microcurrent therapy 

Microcurrent is a recent non-invasive treatment for wrinkles and skin renewal. A micro-current treatment study was done where 30 women participated in a clinical trial. They were up to 45 and had visible wrinkles with no other skin problems. Their wrinkles were mainly on the forehead, cheeks, lips, and around the nose area.

Photos before the trial were documented to have some visible substantial proof for comparison. Moreover, three independent blinded reviews were done for an unbiased opinion. Each participant was given a microcurrent for twenty minutes for thirty days.

After thirty days of treatment, there was a 21.18% improvement in the forehead area compared to 18.37%. The results stayed the same even after a month of treatment. Besides, the effect of microcurrent on the forehead was most pronounced.

A slight improvement of 7.61% from 5.85% was seen around the mouth and nose area. As a part of self-analysis, more than 70% of participants were satisfied with the results and saw the skin feel better after one month of stopping the treatment. 

This shows that microcurrent is effective in diminishing wrinkles over time and rejuvenates the skin from within for a substantial amount of time. 

Using Microcurrent Therapy for Anti-Aging

Microcurrent facials have become famous for skin rejuvenation and fighting the aging signs. In a microcurrent treatment, a wand is used to pass a very weak electrical current on the skin. Many studies have focused on the healing powers and collagen-building abilities of microcurrent. Moreover, it's a non-invasive skin rejuvenating method. 

So, it's ideal for those looking for a facelift minus needles and knives and tons of side effects that come with a surgical facelift. As the process is non-invasive, many at-home devices are available for microcurrent therapy at home. With consistent use, it may improve skin's appearance and texture.

When choosing a device, make sure it's approved and has a sturdy build. You may try the premium EvenSkyn® Phoenix Face Lifting Microcurrent Bar with alloy massaging rollers. These rollers are placed at a 115° angle for maximum skin contact. The device is approved by ISO 9001, BSCI, and Health Canada. The most exciting feature of Phoenix is that it works on solar and light energy. 

So you may charge it under the sun or artificial light. When charged, it emits a current of 15uA. While using, you may not feel this microcurrent; however, it lifts the skin, and the 4 massaging rollers deeply knead the dermal tissue. Use it to massage your face and neck daily for 15-20 minutes for the best result. In 3-4 weeks, you'll notice firmness and improved texture in your skin. 

Major Benefits of Microcurrent Therapy

Here are some significant benefits of microcurrent therapy: 

  • It may improve skin elasticity with an increase in natural elastin production. This may prevent the skin from sagging and lead to skin tightening with consistent use. 
  • The fibroblast and ATP formation may lead to improved collagen production. As a result, this will lead to more skin cell turnover and rejuvenation.
  • Wrinkles and fine lines may disappear as the microcurrent works at a cellular and muscular level. The massaging action of the microcurrent tool may diminish mild fine lines. 
  • Some may notice reduced pigmentation and skin roughness with consistent microcurrent therapy use. The massaging may also help in lymph drainage and reduce face puffiness. 

Are microcurrent devices safe for everyone?

Microcurrent facials are considered safe for most people. Since the current is so small, it's humanly undetectable to cause any discomfort in the skin. Moreover, these microcurrents do not cause any injury to the skin. In some medical cases, professionals will suggest not getting a microcurrent facial to avoid any interaction. 

People who have heart issues, epilepsy, or pacemakers installed should not get this therapy. Pregnant women should also avoid it as the safety of the baby or the mother has not been researched yet.

Some people may experience the following side effects. In most cases, these are normal and go away quickly. 

  • Discomfort
  • Tingling sensation 
  • Skin irritation
  • Dryness
  • Skin soreness
  • Facial muscle twitching
  • Drowsiness

In Conclusion

Now you know how our skin reacts at a cellular level on microcurrent application. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of microcurrent therapy for skin rejuvenation and improving overall appearance. With consistent use, you may notice more fitness in the skin. There may also be reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Without going under the knife, you may get the benefits of a facelift. Therefore, invest in an at-home microcurrent device for enhanced beauty and radiance. 


  1. Tae-Hyun Kim, Won-Yong Jeon. "Electricity auto-generating skin patch promotes the wound healing process by activation of mechanosensitive ion channels." August 2021
  2. Chao Yu, Zong-Qian Hu, and Rui-Yun Peng. "Effects and mechanisms of a microcurrent dressing on skin wound healing." November 2014
  3. Fatemeh Saniee, Hamid Reza. "Consider of Micro-Current's effect on the variation of Facial Wrinkle trend, Randomized Clinical Trial Study." July 2012
  4. Luigi Galvani, Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond.”Bioelectricity." August 2023 
  5. Haftek M, Abdayem R, Guyonnet-Debersac P. "Skin Minerals: Key Roles of Inorganic Elements in Skin Physiological Functions." June 2022 
  6. Khalid KA, Nawi AFM, Zulkifli N, Barkat MA, Hadi H. "Aging and Wound Healing of the Skin: A Review of Clinical and Pathophysiological Hallmarks. Life (Basel)." December 2022
  7. Martinac B. "Mechanosensitive ion channels: an evolutionary and scientific tour de force in mechanobiology. Channels." Jul-Aug 2012 
  8. Denda M, Fuziwara S, Inoue K. "Influx of calcium and chloride ions into epidermal keratinocytes regulates exocytosis of epidermal lamellar bodies and skin permeability barrier homeostasis. J Invest Dermatol." 2003 Aug
  9. Jacob Dunn; Michael H. Grider. "Physiology, Adenosine Triphosphate." February 13, 2023

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