Genetic algorithm reveals energy-efficient waveforms for neural stimulation.
Energy consumption is an important consideration for battery-powered implantable stimulators. We used a genetic algorithm (GA) that mimics biological evolution to determine the energy-optimal waveform shape for neural stimulation. The GA was coupled to NEURON using a model of extracellular stimulation of a mammalian myelinated axon. Stimulation waveforms represented the organisms of a population, and each waveform's shape was encoded into genes. The fitness of each waveform was based on its energy efficiency and ability to elicit an action potential. After each generation of the GA, waveforms mated to produce offspring waveforms, and a new population was formed consisting of the offspring and the fittest waveforms of the previous generation. Over the course of the GA, waveforms became increasingly energy-efficient and converged upon a highly energy-efficient shape. The resulting waveforms resembled truncated normal curves or sinusoids and were 3-74% more energy-efficient than several waveform shapes commonly used in neural stimulation. If implemented in implantable neural stimulators, the GA optimized waveforms could prolong battery life, thereby reducing the costs and risks of battery-replacement surgery.
Wongsarnpigoon, A; Grill, WM
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