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The Effect of Sub-Threshold Pre-Pulses on Neural Activation Depends on Electrode Configuration

Eickhoff, S and Jarvis, JC (2020) The Effect of Sub-Threshold Pre-Pulses on Neural Activation Depends on Electrode Configuration. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. ISSN 0018-9294

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IEEE Objective: Published research on nerve stimulation with sub-threshold conditioning pre-pulses is contradictory. Like most early research on electrical stimulation (ES), the pioneer work on the use of pre-pulses was modelled and measured only for monopolar electrodes. However, many contemporary ES applications, including miniaturized neuromodulation implants, known as electroceuticals, operate in bipolar mode. Methods: We compared depolarizing (DPPs) and hyperpolarizing (HPPs) pre-pulses on neural excitability in rat nerve with monopolar and bipolar electrodes. The rat common peroneal nerve was stimulated with biphasic stimuli with and without ramp and square DPPs or HPPs of 1, 5 and 10ms duration and 10% - 20% of the amplitude of the following pulse. Results: The effects were opposite for the monopolar and bipolar configurations. With monopolar electrodes DPPs increased the amplitude required to activate 50% of the motoneuron pool (between 0.7% and 10.3%) and HPPs decreased the threshold (between 1.7% and 4.7%). With bipolar electrodes both pre-pulse types had the opposite effect: DPPs decreased thresholds (between 1.8% and 5.5%) whereas HPPs increased thresholds (between 0.5% and 4.1%). Electroneurograms from the stimulated nerve revealed spatial and temporal differences in action potential generation for monopolar and bipolar electrodes. In bipolar biphasic stimulation, excitation first occurred at the return electrode as a response to the transition between the cathodic and anodic phase. Conclusion: These data help to resolve the contradictions in the published data over two decades. Significance: They also show that fundamental research carried out in monopolar configuration is not directly applicable to contemporary bipolar ES applications.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 IEEE
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0903 Biomedical Engineering, 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: IEEE
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 10:07
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:02
DOI or ID number: 10.1109/TBME.2020.2964071
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12129
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