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Energy-Optimal Electrical Excitation of Nerve Fibers


S. Jezernik, M. Morari

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 740 - 743

We derive, based on an analytical nerve membrane model and optimal control theory of dynamical systems, an energy-optimal stimulation current waveform for electrical excitation of nerve fibers. Optimal stimulation waveforms for nonleaky and leaky membranes are calculated. The case with a leaky membrane is a realistic case. Finally, we compare the waveforms and energies necessary for excitation of a leaky membrane in the case where the stimulation waveform is a square-wave current pulse, and in the case of energy-optimal stimulation. The optimal stimulation waveform is an exponentially rising waveform and necessitates considerably less energy to excite the nerve than a square-wave pulse (especially true for larger pulse durations). The described theoretical results can lead to drastically increased battery lifetime and/or decreased energy transmission requirements for implanted biomedical systems.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Article { JezMor:2005:IFA_2104,
    author={S. Jezernik and M. Morari},
    title={{Energy-Optimal Electrical Excitation of Nerve Fibers}},
    journal={IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering},
    volume={52, no. 4},
    pages={740 -- 743},
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