Pre-Filtering of Stimuli for Improved Energy Efficiency in Electrical Neural Stimulation

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This work proposes a guideline for designing more energy-efficient electrical stimulators by analyzing the frequency spectrum of the stimuli. It is shown that the natural low-pass characteristic of the neuron’s membrane limits the energy transfer efficiency from the stimulator to the cell. Thus, to improve the transfer efficiency, it is proposed to pre-filter the high-frequency components of the stimulus. The method is validated for a Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) axon cable model using NEURON v8.0 software. To this end, the required activation energy is simulated for rectangular pulses with durations between 10 µs and 5 ms, which are low-pass filtered with cut-off frequencies of 0.5-50 kHz. Simulations show a 51.5% reduction in the required activation energy for the shortest pulse width (i.e., 10 µs) after filtering at 5 kHz. It is also shown that the minimum required activation energy can be decreased by 11.04% when an appropriate pre-filter is applied. Finally, we draw a perspective for future use of this method to improve the selectivity of electrical stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2022 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS)
Place of PublicationDanvers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-6917-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-6918-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS) - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 13 Oct 202215 Oct 2022


Conference2022 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS)

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • neuron modeling
  • electrical stimulation
  • neuro-modulation
  • energy transfer efficiency
  • frequency spectrum

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