Surface-distributed low-frequency asynchronous stimulation delays fatigue of stimulated muscles

Authors

  • Lana Z. Popović Maneski,

    Corresponding author
    1. State University of Novi Pazar, Novi Pazar, Serbia
    2. Tecnalia Serbia, Ltd., Belgrade, Serbia
    • This work was partially supported by the Ministry for Science and Technological Development of Serbia (OI175016 and TR35040).Correspondence to: L.Z. Popović-Maneski; e-mail: lana.popovic@tecnalia.com

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  • Nebojša M. Malešević MSc,

    1. Tecnalia Serbia, Ltd., Belgrade, Serbia
    2. School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
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  • Andrej M. Savić PhD,

    1. Tecnalia Serbia, Ltd., Belgrade, Serbia
    2. School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
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  • Thierry Keller,

    1. Tecnalia Research & Innovation, San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Dejan B. Popović

    1. School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
    2. Department of Health Science and Technology, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI) Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
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ABSTRACT

Introduction: One important reason why functional electrical stimulation (FES) has not gained widespread clinical use is the limitation imposed by rapid muscle fatigue due to non-physiological activation of the stimulated muscles. We aimed to show that asynchronous low-pulse-rate (LPR) electrical stimulation applied by multipad surface electrodes greatly postpones the occurrence of muscle fatigue compared with conventional stimulation (high pulse rate, HPR). Methods: We compared the produced force vs. time of the forearm muscles responsible for finger flexion in 2 stimulation protocols, LPR (fL = 10 Hz) and HPR (fH = 40 Hz). Results: Surface-distributed low-frequency asynchronous stimulation (sDLFAS) doubles the time interval before the onset of fatigue (104 ± 80%) compared with conventional synchronous stimulation. Conclusions: Combining the performance of multipad electrodes (increased selectivity and facilitated positioning) with sDLFAS (decreased fatigue) can improve many FES applications in both the lower and upper extremities. Muscle Nerve 48: 930–937, 2013

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