The aim of this study is to investigate theoretically the possibility for activation of small myelinated nerve fibres without activating larger ones when stimulating a nerve fibre bundle using a monopolar point electrode. Therefore, the sensitivity of excitation and blocking threshold currents of nerve fibres to fibre diameter, electrode-fibre distance and pulse duration has been simulated by a computer model. A simple infinite, homogeneous volume conductor and a cathodal point source were used in combination with a model representing the electrical properties of a myelinated nerve fibre. The results show that selective activation of small myelinated fibres may be possible in a region at some distance from the electrode.
- Electrical nerve stimulation
- Selective small fibre activation