A Quasi-Static Boundary Element Approach With Fast Multipole Acceleration for High-Resolution Bioelectromagnetic Models

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2018 Dec;65(12):2675-2683. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2018.2813261. Epub 2018 Mar 7.


Objective: We develop a new accurate version of the boundary element fast multipole method for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) related problems. This method is based on the surface-charge formulation and is using the highly efficient fast multipole accelerator along with analytical computations of neighbor surface integrals.

Results: The method accuracy is demonstrated by comparison with the proven commercial finite-element method (FEM) software ANSYS Maxwell 18.2 2017 operating on unstructured grids and with adaptive mesh refinement. Five realistic high-definition head models from the Population Head Repository (IT'IS Foundation, Switzerland) have been acquired and augmented with a commercial TMS coil model (MRi-B91, MagVenture, Denmark). For each head model, simulations with our method and simulations with the FEM software ANSYS Maxwell 18.2 2017 have been performed. These simulations have been compared with each other and an excellent agreement was established in every case.

Significance: At the same time, our new method runs approximately 500 times faster than the ANSYS FEM, finishes in about 200 s on a standard server, and naturally provides a submillimeter field resolution, which is justified using mesh refinement.

Conclusions: Our method can be applied to modeling of brain stimulation and recording technologies such as TMS and magnetoencephalography, and has the potential to become a real-time high-resolution simulation tool.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Head / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*