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The Influence of Electrode Size on Selectivity and Comfort in Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation of the Forearm

Author(s):

A. Kuhn, T. Keller, M. Lawrence, M. Morari
Conference/Journal:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 255-262
Abstract:

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) is a technique to artificially activate motor nerves and muscles. It can be used for rehabilitation or the restoration of lost motor functions, e.g. in subjects with brain or spinal cord lesions. Apart from selectively activating motor nerves and muscles, TES activates sensory fibers and pain receptors, producing discomfort and pain. Clinicians try to minimize discomfort by optimizing stimulation parameters, electrode location, and electrode size. There are some studies that found optimal electrode sizes for certain stimulation sites (e.g. gastrocnemius), however the underlying effects why certain electrode sizes are preferred by patients is not well understood. We used a TES model consisting of a finite element (FE) model and a nerve model to assess the influence of different electrode sizes on the selectivity and the perceived comfort for various anatomies. Motor thresholds calculated using the TES model were compared with motor thresholds that were obtained from measurements performed on the forearm of ten human volunteers. Results of the TES model indicate that small electrodes (0.8x0.8 cm^2) are more comfortable for thin fat layers (0.25 cm) and superficial nerves (0.1 cm) and larger electrodes (4.1x4.1 cm^2) are more comfortable for thicker fat layers (2 cm) and deeper nerves (1.1 cm) at a constant recruitment.

Year:

2010
Type of Publication:

(01)Article
Supervisor:



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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Article { KuhEtal:2010:IFA_3362,
    author={A. Kuhn and T. Keller and M. Lawrence and M. Morari},
    title={{The Influence of Electrode Size on Selectivity and Comfort
	  in Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation of the Forearm}},
    journal={IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation
	  Engineering},
    year={2010},
    volume={18},
    number={3},
    pages={255--262},
    month=jun,
    url={http://control.ee.ethz.ch/index.cgi?page=publications;action=details;id=3362}
}
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