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New results in electrical nerve and muscle stimulation

Electrical stimulation of the human spinal cord can be used to activate pattern generators for stepping like movements. This method is related to the H-reflex by activating large afferent dorsal root fibers. Surprisingly, with transcutaneous stimulation we obtained similar effects as with implanted epidural electrodes at the lumbar cord. Another field of our research is the transcutaneous stimulation of denervated muscles in the human thigh. Using the activating function concept the current distance effects of spike initiation at terminal and central parts of muscle fibers are compared. A combination of both activation principles can be supportive.

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Prof. Frank Rattay
Institute for Analysis and Scientific Computing, Vienna University of Technology
Aug 20, 2008   17:15 /

ETH Zentrum, Building ETZ, Room E 7
Contact Person:

Kuhn A.
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Biographical Sketch:
Frank Rattay studied technical mathematics and physics and received the Dipl. Ing., Dr. techn., and Dr. rer. nat. degrees from the Vienna University of Technology in 1974, 1980 and 1995, respectively. He became a professor for „Modeling and Simulation in Technique and Science“ in 1987 and for „Biophysics“ in 2000. In 2006 he received a Dr. science med. degree from the Medical University Vienna. Frank Rattay has been with the Institute of Analysis and Technical Mathematics (now called Analysis and Scientific Computing) of the Vienna University of Technology since 1972. Since 1994 he is chair of TU-BioMed, the Association for Biomedical Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology. He chaired the ‚Commission for Technical Mathematics‘ and was also Senator of the University from 2000 to 2003. He is co-initiator of the new master curriculum “Biomedical Engineering” at the Vienna University of Technology. In 1986 Frank Rattay introduced the concept of the activating function, which is now well accepted as it is the most cited method to explain the influence of an externally applied electric field on a target neuron. Frank Rattay’s book (1990) "Electrical nerve stimulation: Theory, Experiments and Applications" was the first monograph in the field. The wide range of his publications includes two basic book chapters for the application of neuro-prostheses that appeared 2003 and 2004: "Central Nervous System Stimulation" in Handbook of Neuroprosthetic Methods and "Neuron Modeling" in Neuroprosthetics: Theory and Practice . Frank Rattay's main scientific interest is biomedical engineering with a focus on electrical stimulation, modeling and computer simulation.