Neuromuscular disruption with ultrashort electrical pulses

Andrei Pakhomov, Juergen F. Kolb, Ravindra P. Joshi, Karl H. Schoenbach, Thomas Dayton, James Comeaux, John Ashmore, Charles Beason

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006
EventEnabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons - Kissimmee, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 18 2006Apr 19 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6219
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Conference

ConferenceEnabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons
CountryUnited States
CityKissimmee, FL
Period04/18/0604/19/06

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  • Cite this

    Pakhomov, A., Kolb, J. F., Joshi, R. P., Schoenbach, K. H., Dayton, T., Comeaux, J., Ashmore, J., & Beason, C. (2006). Neuromuscular disruption with ultrashort electrical pulses. In Enabling Technologies and Design of Nonlethal Weapons [621903] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 6219). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.665617