Effects of Electrode Configurations on tDCS

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Effects of Electrode Configurations and Injected Current Intensity on the Electrical Field of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: A Simulation Study.

Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation ( tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technology that modulates the excitability of the brain by delivering weak electric currents to the brain via scalp electrodes. Electrode configuration and injected current intensity are two important parameters in the tDCS design. This simulation study examined three commercially available electrode configurations, i.e. conventional low definition rectangular pad, high-definition Disc, and high-definition 4 x 1 with different electrode distances and different injected current intensity. Simulation results show that increasing the injected current intensity of HD- tDCS mainly increases the electrical field strength for all configurations. Both Disc and 4 x 1 high definition tDCS (HD- tDCS) have better focality than the conventional low-definition rectangular pad. Increasing the inter-electrode distance in HD- tDCS enlarges the electrical field strength and the depth of stimulation but reduces the focality. In motor rehabilitation, a trade-off needs to be made in the tDCS design to allow the electrical field reaching the white matter to facilitate the usage of the cortico-spinal tract without influencing other undesirable regions in the brain.

PMID: 33018762 [PubMed – in process]

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 Jul;2020:3517-3520

Authors: Mackenbach C, Tian R, Yang Y

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