Optimized Distributed Stimulation of Human Calf Muscle

S.J. Parikh, D. Morgan, and P. Percival (Australia)


Distributed stimulation, muscle, control system, optimize, contraction, interpulse interval


Normal muscle activation involves asynchronous activation of many motor units at low stimulation rates. Attempts to restore function to paralyzed muscle usually involve synchronous stimulation of muscle, at rates high enough to give a reasonably smooth contraction. This leads to rapid fatigue of muscle fibers, greatly complicating efforts to use muscles in feedback loops. Distributed stimulation involves approximating physiological stimulation with a small number of inputs stimulated sequentially. This works well for equal inputs but is complicated by unequal inputs. Recent work attempts to accommodate unequal inputs by optimizing interpulse intervals, and has worked well in acute preparations. The research discussed in this paper investigates the effectiveness of distributed stimulation and optimized interpulse intervals using surface electrodes on human calf muscle.

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