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OBJECTIVE: A transcranial magnetic stimulation system with programmable stimulus pulses and patterns is presented. The stimulus pulses of the implemented system expand beyond conventional damped cosine or near-rectangular pulses and approach an arbitrary waveform. METHODS: The desired stimulus waveform shape is defined as a reference signal. This signal controls the semiconductor switches of an H-bridge inverter to generate a high-power imitation of the reference. The design uses a new paradigm for TMS, applying pulse-width modulation with a non-resonant, high-frequency switching architecture to synthesize waveforms that leverages the low-pass filtering properties of neuronal cells. The modulation technique enables control of the waveform, frequency, pattern, and intensity of the stimulus. RESULTS: A system prototype was developed to demonstrate the technique. The experimental measurements demonstrate that the system is capable of generating stimuli up to 4 kHz with peak voltage and current values of ±1000 V and ±3600 A, respectively. The maximum transferred energy measured in the experimental validation was 100.4 Joules. To characterize repetitive TMS modalities, the efficiency of generating consecutive pulse triplets and quadruplets with interstimulus intervals of 1 ms was tested and verified. CONCLUSION: The implemented TMS device can generate consecutive rectangular pulses with a predetermined time interval, widths and polarities, enables the synthesis of a wide range of magnetic stimuli. SIGNIFICANCE: New waveforms promise functional advantages over the waveforms generated by current-generation TMS systems for clinical neuroscience research.

Original publication




Journal article


IEEE Trans Biomed Eng

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