Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 371–379 | Cite as

Delaying discharge after the stimulus significantly decreases muscle activation thresholds with small impact on the selectivity: an in vivo study using TIME

  • Paweł MaciejaszEmail author
  • Jordi Badia
  • Tim Boretius
  • David Andreu
  • Thomas Stieglitz
  • Winnie Jensen
  • Xavier Navarro
  • David Guiraud
Original Article


The number of devices for electrical stimulation of nerve fibres implanted worldwide for medical applications is constantly increasing. Stimulation charge is one of the most important parameters of stimulation. High stimulation charge may cause tissue and electrode damage and also compromise the battery life of the electrical stimulators. Therefore, the objective of minimizing stimulation charge is an important issue. Delaying the second phase of biphasic stimulation waveform may decrease the charge required for fibre activation, but its impact on stimulation selectivity is not known. This information is particularly relevant when transverse intrafascicular multichannel electrode (TIME) is used, since it has been designed to provide for high selectivity. In this in vivo study, the rat sciatic nerve was electrically stimulated using monopolar and bipolar configurations with TIME. The results demonstrated that the inclusion of a 100-μs delay between the cathodic and the anodic phase of the stimulus allows to reduce charge requirements by around 30 %, while only slightly affecting stimulation selectivity. This study shows that adding a delay to the typical stimulation waveform significantly (\(P < 0.001\)) reduces the charge required for nerve fibres activation. Therefore, waveforms with the delayed discharge phase are more suitable for electrical stimulation of nerve fibres.


Functional electrical stimulation Multi-electrode arrays Neural interfaces Stimulation selectivity Delayed discharge 



We would like to thank Mr. Guillaume Souquet from MXM Axonic for developing low-level control software of the Stim’nD stimulator, Mr. François Bonnetblanc from the DEMAR team, INRIA, for help with statistical analysis and Ms. Chloé Picq from MXM Axonic for English proof reading.

Supplementary material

11517_2015_1244_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (276 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 276 KB)


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paweł Maciejasz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jordi Badia
    • 3
  • Tim Boretius
    • 4
    • 5
  • David Andreu
    • 7
  • Thomas Stieglitz
    • 4
  • Winnie Jensen
    • 6
  • Xavier Navarro
    • 3
  • David Guiraud
    • 7
  1. 1.DEMAR Team, LIRMM, INRIAUniversity of Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.AxonicSophia AntipolisFrance
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology and Institute of NeurosciencesUniversitat Autónoma de Barcelona and CIBERNEDBellaterraSpain
  4. 4.Laboratory for Biomedical Microtechnology, IMTEK-Department of Microsystems EngineeringUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  5. 5.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Health Science and Technology, Center for Sensory-Motor InteractionAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  7. 7.DEMAR Team, LIRMM, INRIA, CNRSUniversity of Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance

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