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Physiol Meas. 2008 Oct;29(10):1209-19. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/29/10/005. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Ventricular fibrillation time constant for swine.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The strength-duration curve for cardiac excitation can be modeled by a parallel resistor-capacitor circuit that has a time constant. Experiments on six pigs were performed by delivering current from the X26 Taser dart at a distance from the heart to cause ventricular fibrillation (VF). The X26 Taser is an electromuscular incapacitation device (EMD), which generates about 50 kV and delivers a pulse train of about 15-19 pulses s(-1) with a pulse duration of about 150 micros and peak current about 2 A. Similarly a continuous 60 Hz alternating current of the amplitude required to cause VF was delivered from the same distance. The average current and duration of the current pulse were estimated in both sets of experiments. The strength-duration equation was solved to yield an average time constant of 2.87 ms +/- 1.90 (SD). Results obtained may help in the development of safety standards for future electromuscular incapacitation devices (EMDs) without requiring additional animal tests.

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