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Reducing muscle fatigue during FES


R. Nguyen

IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, Rome

Muscles can be artificially induced to contract by applying electrical currents to the peripheral motor nerves. The coordination of such contractions to provide a functional task is termed functional electrical stimulation (FES). FES can be applied to paralyzed or paretic muscles of neurologically impaired individuals to replace or supplement function that is lost. A limitation of FES is the rapid onset of muscle fatigue caused by high frequency synchronous stimulation of muscle fibres. A survey of stimulation techniques to reduce muscle fatigue during FES will be presented. These techniques include using variable frequency trains, stochastically modulated stimulation, spatially distributed stimulation, and feedback control. In particular, our own work on using electrode arrays for spatially distributed stimulation and feedback control will be presented in detail.


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