, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 51-55

Anisotropy in the dielectric properties of skeletal muscle

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The dielectric permittivity and conductivity of freshly excised dog skeletal muscle were measured at frequencies between 20 Hz and 1 MHz, with the tissue samples oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the applied electric field. At frequencies below 100 kHz a four-electrode technique was employed; at frequencies above 100 kHz a conventional two-electrode technique was used in conjunction with a commercial admittance bridge. All measurements were performed with the tissue sample at body temperature. Over the entire frequency range of the study, the dielectric properties of the muscle were found to be significantly anisotropic. At audio frequencies, the conductivity of the muscle measured in a direction parallel to the fibre orientation was typically found to be ten times higher than that measured perpendicular to the fibre axis; at frequencies approaching 1 MHz the conductivities measured in both directions approached a common value, near 8 ms cm−1. The dielectric permittivity in both orientations is strongly dependent on frequency. These data are analysed using the suspension equation, and comments are made on the mechanisms that are responsible for the observed properties. In an Appendix these results are related to some of the very early work on the subject.