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J Neurosci Methods. 2011 Apr 30;197(2):221-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.02.022. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Estimating the duration of intracellular action potentials in muscle fibres from single-fibre extracellular potentials.

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Public University of Navarra, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 31006 Pamplona, Spain.


In situ recording of the intracellular action potential (IAP) of human muscle fibres is not yet possible, and consequently, knowledge concerning certain IAP characteristics is still limited. According to the core-conductor theory, close to a fibre, a single fibre action potential (SFAP) can be assumed to be proportional to the IAP second derivative. Thus, we might expect to be able to derive some characteristics of the IAP, such as the duration of its spike, from the SFAP waveform. However, SFAP properties not only depend on the IAP shape but also on the fibre-to-electrode (radial) distance and other physiological properties of the fibre. In this paper we, first, propose an SFAP parameter (the negative phase duration, NPD) appropriate for estimating the IAP spike duration and, second, show that this parameter is largely independent of changes in radial distance and muscle fibre propagation velocity. Estimation of the IAP spike duration from a direct measurement taken from the SFAP waveform provides a possible way to enhance the accuracy of SFAP models. Because IAP spike duration is known to be sensitive to the effects of fatigue and calcium accumulation, the proposed SFAP parameter, the NPD, has potential value in electrodiagnosis and as an indicator of IAP profile changes due to peripheral fatigue.

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