University of Heidelberg
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Optimizing selective stimulation of peripheral nerves with arrays of coils or surface electrodes using a linear peripheral nerve stimulation metric

M. Davids, B. Guerin, V. Klein, M. Schmelz, L. Schad and L. Wald

J Neural Eng, 17 (1), p.016029

Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) by electromagnetic fields can be accurately simulated using coupled electromagnetic and neurodynamic modeling. Such simulations are slow and non-linear in the electric field, which makes it difficult to iteratively optimize coil and electrode configurations or drive patterns aiming to avoid PNS or to initiate it for therapeutic purposes. We present a PNS oracle, which solves these computation time and linearity problems and is, therefore, well-suited for fast optimization of voltage distributions in contact electrode arrays and current drive patterns in non-contact magnetic coil arrays. Due to its linearity, this PNS metric can be precomputed for a set of coil or electrode segments, allowing rapid PNS prediction and comparison of any possible coil or electrode stimulation configuration constructed from this set. The PNS oracle is closely related to the classical activating function and modified driving functions but is adjusted to better correlate with full neurodynamic modeling of myelinated mammalian nerves. We validated the PNS oracle in three MRI gradient coils and two body models and found good correlation between the PNS oracle and the full neurodynamic modeling approach (R² > 0.995). Finally, we demonstrated its potential utility by optimizing the driving currents and voltages of arrays of 108 magnetic coils or 108 contact electrodes to selectively stimulate target nerves in the lower leg.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 30.09.2020
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