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The effect of plunge electrodes during electrical stimulation of cardiac tissue

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2 Author(s)
D. M. Langrill ; Dept. of Phys., Oakland Univ., Rochester, MI, USA ; B. J. Roth

The mechanism for far-field stimulation of cardiac tissue is not known, although many hypotheses have been suggested. This paper explores a new hypothesis: the insulated plunge electrodes used in experiments to map the extracellular potential may affect the transmembrane potential when an electric field is applied to cardiac tissue. The authors' calculation simulates a 10-mm-diameter sheet of passive tissue with a circular insulated plunge electrode in the middle of it, ranging in diameter from 0.05 to 2 mm. The authors calculate the transmembrane potential induced by a 500-V/m electric field. Their results shown that a transmembrane potential is induced around the electrode in alternating areas of depolarization and hyperpolarization. If the electric field is oriented parallel to the myocardial fibers, the maximum transmembrane potential is 89 mV. A layer of fluid around the electrode increases the transmembrane potential. It is concluded that plunge electrodes may introduce artifacts during experiments designed to study the response of the heart to strong electric shocks.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 10 )