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This study analytically addresses the problem of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for a planar, multilayer, anisotropic model of a physiological tissue (referred to as volume conductor). Both conductivity and permittivity of the volume conductor are considered, including dispersive properties. The analytical solution is obtained in the 2- D Fourier transform domain, transforming in the planes parallel to the volume conductor surface. The model is efficient in terms of computational cost, as the solution is analytical (only numerical Fourier inversion is needed). It provides the current distribution in a physiological tissue induced by an electrical current delivered at the skin surface. Three representative examples of application of the model are considered. (1) The simulation of stimulation artefact during transcutaneous electrical stimulation and EMG detection. Only the effect of the volume conductor is considered, neglecting the other sources of artefact (such as the capacitive coupling between the stimulating and recording electrodes). (2) The simulation of the electrical current distribution within the muscle and the low-pass filter effect of the volume conductor on sinusoidal stimulation currents with different stimulation frequencies. (3) The estimation of the amplitude modulated current distribution within the muscle for interferential stimulation. The model is devoted to the simulation of neuromuscular stimulation, but the same method could be applied in other fields in which the estimation of the electrical current distribution in a medium induced by the injection of a current from the boundary of the medium is of interest.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2008