Computational study on subdural cortical stimulation-the influence of the head geometry, anisotropic conductivity, and electrode configuration
Subdural cortical stimulation (SuCS) is a method used to inject electrical current through electrodes beneath the dura mater, and is known to be useful in treating brain disorders. However, precisely how SuCS must be applied to yield the most effective results has rarely been investigated. For this purpose, we developed a three-dimensional computational model that represents an anatomically realistic brain model including an upper chest. With this computational model, we investigated the influence of stimulation amplitudes, electrode configurations (single or paddle-array), and white matter conductivities (isotropy or anisotropy). Further, the effects of stimulation were compared with two other computational models, including an anatomically realistic brain-only model and the simplified extruded slab model representing the precentral gyrus area. The results of voltage stimulation suggested that there was a synergistic effect with the paddle-array due to the use of multiple electrodes; however, a single electrode was more efficient with current stimulation. The conventional model (simplified extruded slab) far overestimated the effects of stimulation with both voltage and current by comparison to our proposed realistic upper body model. However, the realistic upper body and full brain-only models demonstrated similar stimulation effects. In our investigation of the influence of anisotropic conductivity, model with a fixed ratio (1∶10) anisotropic conductivity yielded deeper penetration depths and larger extents of stimulation than others. However, isotropic and anisotropic models with fixed ratios (1∶2, 1∶5) yielded similar stimulation effects. Lastly, whether the reference electrode was located on the right or left chest had no substantial effects on stimulation.