The duty cycle in Functional Electrical Stimulation research. Part II: Duty cycle multiplicity and domain reporting

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Matthew J. Taylor *
Ché Fornusek
Andrew J. Ruys
(*) Corresponding Author:
Matthew J. Taylor |


In part I of this review, we introduced the duty cycle as a fundamental parameter in controlling the effect of electrical stimulation pulse trains on muscle structural and functional properties with special emphasis on fatigue. Following on from a survey of the literature, we discuss here the relative ability of intermittent and continuous stimulation to fatigue muscle. In addition, pertinent literature is explored on a more deeper level, highlighting contentions regarding the duty cycle across studies. In response to literature inconsistencies, we propose frameworks upon which the duty cycle parameter may be specified. We present the idea of domain reporting for the duty cycle, and illustrate with practical examples. In addition we dig further into the literature and present a set of notations that have been used by different researchers to report the duty cycle. We also propose the idea of the duty cycle multiple, which together with domain reporting, will help researchers understand more precisely duty cycles of electrical stimulation. As a case study, we also show how the duty cycle has been looked at by researchers in the context of pressure sore attenuation in patients. Together with part I, it is hoped that the frameworks suggested provide a complete picture of how duty cycle has been discussed across the literature, and gives researchers a more trans-theoretical basis upon which they may report the duty cycle in their studies. This may also lead to a more precise specification of electrical stimulation protocols used in patients.

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