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Proceedings Paper

Nociceptor activation and damage by pulsed E-fields
Author(s): Deepti Nene; Nan Jiang; Kristofer K. Rau; Martin Richardson; Brian Y. Cooper
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Paper Abstract

We assessed the capacity of ultrashort E-fields to activate rat cutaneous nociceptors. Experiments were conducted in vitro on nociceptive neurons representing hairy skin and glabrous skin. Electrical and optical recording methods were used to assess action potentials and membrane damage thresholds. Strength duration (SD) curves were formed for E-field pulses from 500 μsec to 350 ns. There were no differences in the SD time contant (taue (59 μsec) or ultrashort thresholds (129 V/cm at 350 ns) for hairy or glabrous skin nociceptors, for nociceptors with distinct geometry or for nociceptors expressing different combinations of voltage sensitive Na+ channels (TTXs and TTXr Nav) or hyperpolarization activated channels (HCN; IH). Subthreshold activation was possible with high frequency pulsing at ultrashort durations (350 ns; 4,000 Hz). Relative to single pulse thresholds, activation threshold could be reduced over 50% by high frequency burst trains (4,000 Hz; 1-40 msec). Nociceptors were not damaged by E-field activation. Irreversible membrane disruption occurred at significantly higher field strength and varied by cell radius (3,266-4,240 V/cm, 350 ns, 40 Hz, 5 sec). Pulse frequency had no influence on acute membrane failure (10, 20, 40, 4,000 Hz; 5 sec).

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6219, Enabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons, 621904 (26 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665181
Show Author Affiliations
Deepti Nene, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Nan Jiang, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Kristofer K. Rau, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Martin Richardson, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Brian Y. Cooper, Univ. of Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6219:
Enabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons
Glenn T. Shwaery; John G. Blitch; Carlton Land, Editor(s)

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