The effect of stimulus pulse duration on selectivity of neural stimulation.
Choice of stimulus parameters is an important consideration in the design of neural prosthetic systems. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of rectangular stimulus pulsewidth (PW) on the selectivity of peripheral nerve stimulation. Computer simulations using a cable model of a mammalian myelinated nerve fiber indicated that shorter PW's increased the difference between the threshold currents of fibers lying at different distances from an electrode. Experimental measurements of joint torque generated by peripheral nerve stimulation demonstrated that shorter PW's generated larger torques before spillover and created a larger dynamic range of currents between threshold and spillover. Thus, shorter PW's allowed more spatially selective stimulation of nerve fibers. Analysis of the response of a passive cable model to different duration stimuli indicated that PW dependent contributions of distributed sources to membrane polarization accounted for the observed differences in selectivity.
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