Interfacial polarization of in vivo rat sciatic nerve with crush injury studied via broadband dielectric spectroscopy

PLoS One. 2021 Jun 2;16(6):e0252589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252589. eCollection 2021.


Electrical stimulation is one of the candidates for elongation-driven regeneration of damaged peripheral nerves. Different organs and tissues have an inherent cell structure and size. This leads to variation in the tissue-specific electrical properties of the frequency of interfacial polarization. Although nervous tissues have a membrane potential, the electrical reaction inside these tissues following electrical stimulation from outside remains unexplored. Furthermore, the pathophysiological reaction of an injured nerve is unclear. Here, we investigated the electrical reaction of injured and non-injured rat sciatic nerves via broadband dielectric spectroscopy. Crush injured and non-injured sciatic nerves of six 12-week-old male Lewis rats were used, 6 days after infliction of the injury. Both sides of the nerves (with and without injury) were exposed, and impedance measurements were performed at room temperature (approximately 25°C) at frequencies ranging from 100 mHz to 5.5 MHz and electric potential ranging from 0.100 to 1.00 V. The measured interfacial polarization potentially originated from the polarization by ion transport around nerve membranes at frequencies between 3.2 kHz and 1.6 MHz. The polarization strength of the injured nerves was smaller than that of non-injured nerves. However, the difference in polarization between injured and non-injured nerves might be caused by inflammation and edema. The suitable frequency range of the interfacial polarization can be expected to be critical for electrical stimulation of injured peripheral nerves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crush Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electronics, Medical
  • Male
  • Nerve Crush
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Rats
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries*

Grant support

The work of the lead author (T. Aoyama) was supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (Grant Number: KAKENHI 18H03128).