A Finite Element Model to Identify Electrode Influence on Current Distribution in the Skin


  • Presented in part at the 9th Vienna International Workshop on Functional Electrical Stimulation held September 19–22, 2007 in Krems, Austria.

Dr. Laurence Kenney, Brian Blatchford Building, University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU, UK. E-mail: l.p.j.kenney@salford.ac.uk


Abstract:  Discomfort experienced during surface functional electrical stimulation (FES) is thought to be partly a result of localized high current density in the skin underneath the stimulating electrode. This article describes a finite element (FE) model to predict skin current density distribution in the region of the electrode during stimulation and its application to the identification of electrode properties that may act to reduce sensation. The FE model results show that the peak current density was located in an area immediately under the stratum corneum, adjacent to a sweat duct. A simulation of surface FES via a high-resistivity electrode showed a reduction in this peak current density, when compared to that with a low-resistivity electrode.