Electrical Stimulation Research Techniques by Michael M. Patterson

By Michael M. Patterson

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A stimulus isolation unit delivers a certain amount 22 JAMES B. RANCK, JR. of current (or a certain voltage difference) between two electrodes (S, and S2 in Fig. 14). However, the absolute value of the voltage in the two electrodes is not fixed. If the two electrodes are identical and the tissue is grounded, then ground (or zero) voltage will be about halfway between the two electrodes, the dotted line in Fig. 14. If the stimulating electrodes are not isolated from ground, then one of the electrodes is usually at ground, and the other has a value which is larger than if the electrodes were isolated.

6, the voltage attenuation will be small. Note that the electrode resistance could also be made a high value, but this has the unsatisfactory side effect of poor current-passing capability and unstable electrode resistance. For most practical considerations, the internal resistance of the current source should be greater than 109 Ω. III. A Simple Circuit for Intracellular Stimulation with Two Electrodes The current source illustrated in Fig. la can be replaced by a battery or other voltage source in series with a high value resistor.

It is impossible to get a perfect, instaneously discontinuous pulse of current, but for pulses that rise in times much shorter than the time constant of the cell membranes involved (50 μsec for myelinated fibers and a few msec for cell bodies and dendrites), this is not a bad approximation. For times much shorter than the time constant of the cell membrane, a lot of current will flow through the cell. At times longer than the time constant of the cell membrane, the dc case holds. However, even though 1.

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