Magnetic stimulation of curved nerves

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2006 Mar;53(3):414-20. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2005.869770.


Magnetic stimulation of nerves is attracting increased attention recently, as it has been found to be useful in therapy of neural disorders in humans. In an effort to explain the mechanisms of magnetic stimulation, we focus in this paper on the dependence of magnetic stimulation on neuronal morphology and in particular on the importance of curvature of axonal bundles. Using the theory of passive membrane dynamics, we predict the threshold power (the minimum stimulation power required to initiate an action potential) of specific axonal morphologies. In the experimental section, we show that magnetic stimulation of the frog sciatic nerve follows our theoretical predictions. Furthermore, the voltage length constant of the nerve can be measured based on these results alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Differential Threshold / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation / methods*
  • Magnetics / therapeutic use*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Rana ridibunda
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiology*