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Proceedings Paper

Neuromuscular disruption with ultrashort electrical pulses
Author(s): Andrei Pakhomov; Juergen F. Kolb; Ravindra P. Joshi; Karl H. Schoenbach; Thomas Dayton; James Comeaux; John Ashmore; Charles Beason
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Paper Abstract

Experimental studies on single cells have shown that application of pulsed voltages, with submicrosecond pulse duration and an electric field on the order of 10 kV/cm, causes sudden alterations in the intracellular free calcium concentration, followed by immobilization of the cell. In order to examine electrical stimulation and incapacitation with such ultrashort pulses, experiments on anesthetized rats have been performed. The effect of single, 450 nanosecond monopolar pulses have been compared with that of single pulses with multi-microsecond duration (TASER pulses). Two conditions were explored: 1. the ability to elicit a muscle twitch, and, 2. the ability to suppress voluntary movement by using nanosecond pulses. The second condition is relevant for neuromuscular incapacitation. The preliminary results indicate that for stimulation microsecond pulses are advantageous over nanosecond pulses, whereas for incapacitation, the opposite seems to apply. The stimulation effects seem to scale with electrical charge, whereas the disruption effects don't follow a simple scaling law. The increase in intensity (time of incapacitation) for a given pulse duration, is increasing with electrical energy, but is more efficient for nanosecond than for microsecond pulses. This indicates different cellular mechanisms for incapacitation, most likely subcellular processes, which have been shown to become increasingly important when the pulse duration is shortened into the nanosecond range. If further studies can confirm these initial results, consequences of reduced pulse duration are a reduction in weight and volume of the pulse delivery system, and likely, because of the lower required energy for neuromuscular incapacitation, reduced safety risks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6219, Enabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons, 621903 (25 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665617
Show Author Affiliations
Andrei Pakhomov, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Juergen F. Kolb, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Ravindra P. Joshi, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Karl H. Schoenbach, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Thomas Dayton, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
James Comeaux, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John Ashmore, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Charles Beason, Air Force Research Lab. (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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