Simulation of the electrical field in equine larynx to optimize functional electrical stimulation in denervated musculus cricoarythenoideus dorsalis

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Martin Reichel *
Johannes Martinek
(*) Corresponding Author:
Martin Reichel | martin.reichel@technikum-wien.at

Abstract

Distribution of the electrical field is very important to activate muscle and nerve cells properly. One therapeutic method to treat Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN) in horses can be performed by Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). Current method to optimize the stimulation effect is to use implanted quadripolar electrodes to the musculus cricoarythenoideus dorsalis (CAD) and testing electrode configuration until best possible optimum is reached. For better understanding and finding of maximum possible activation of CAD a simulation model of the actual entire setting is currently in development. Therefore the geometric model is built from CT-data of a dissected larynx containing the quadripolar electrodes as well as fiducials for later data registration. The geometric model is the basis for a finite difference method containing of voxels with corresponding electrical conductivity of the different types of tissue due to threshold segmentation of the CT-data. Model validation can be done by the measurement of the 3D electrical potential distribution of a larynx positioned in an electrolytic tray. Finally, measured and calculated results have to be compared as well as further investigated. Preliminary results show, that changes of electrode as well as conductivity configuration leads to significant different voltage distributions and can be well presented by equipotential lines superimposed CT-slices – a Matlab graphical user interface visualizes the results in freely selectable slices of the 3D geometry. Voltage distribution along theoretically estimated fiber paths could be calculated as well as visualized. For further calculation of nerve or denervated muscle fiber activation and its optimization, real fiber paths have to be defined and referenced to the potential- and the CT-data.

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