Electric field stimulation of excitable tissue

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1995 Apr;42(4):329-36. doi: 10.1109/10.376126.


This paper examines the transmembrane voltage response of an unmyelinated fiber to a stimulating electric field from a point current source. For subthreshold conditions, analytic expressions for the transmembrane potential, vm, are developed that include the specific effects of fiber-source distance, h, and time from the onset of the stimulus, T. Suprathreshold effects are determined for two examples by extending the analytical results with a numerical model. The vm response is a complex evolution in time, especially for small h, that differs markedly from the "activating function." In general, the subthreshold response is a good predictor of the wave shape of the suprathreshold vm, but a poor predictor of its magnitude. The subthreshold response also is a good (but not a precise) predictor of the region where excitation begins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Differential Threshold
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Time Factors