Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 41–49

When are actively balanced biphasic (‘Lilly’) stimulating pulses necessary in a neurological prosthesis? I Historical background; Pt resting potential;Q studies

  • N. de N. Donaldson
  • P. E. K. Donaldson

DOI: 10.1007/BF02441604

Cite this article as:
Donaldson, N.d.N. & Donaldson, P.E.K. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. (1986) 24: 41. doi:10.1007/BF02441604


Actively balanced (‘Lilly’) stimulating current waveforms are generally considered to give very ‘safe’ stimulation. Although this is perfectly true, the specification of the necessary waveform generators in neurological prostheses demands additional complexity, and probably additional expense and development time as well. The paper and its companion enquire whether the use of simple, passively charge-balanced stimulating pulses is equally safe, provided the stimulation parameters and circuitry are designed with appropriate care. It is concluded that, in respect of safe deliverable charge density per pulse at the electrode, release of noxious products and stimulating effectiveness, simple pulses need give no worse performance; in some circumstances they may give better.



Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical & Biological Engineering 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. de N. Donaldson
    • 1
  • P. E. K. Donaldson
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Neurological Prostheses UnitLondonEngland