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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Mar;74(3):1454-61.

Multielectrode mapping of slow-wave activity in the isolated rabbit duodenum.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain.


The technique of multiple simultaneous recordings from a large number of extracellular electrodes (> 100) is currently used in the study of normal and abnormal electrical conduction in the heart and the genesis of cardiac arrhythmias. To investigate whether such a system could also be applied in gastrointestinal electrophysiology, several studies were performed with this technique on segments of isolated rabbit duodenum. A multiple-electrode assembly consisting of 240 silver wires was positioned on the serosal surface of the duodenum, and the recorded signals were, after suitable processing, stored. Thereafter, analysis of all simultaneously recorded slow waves during a selected period of time was performed to reconstruct the pattern of conduction in the duodenum. The first results show that there is a considerable variation in conduction pattern, which is determined by the site of the natural pacemaker. Several experiments were performed to rule out possible deleterious effects of positioning the multiple-electrode assembly on the duodenum. Furthermore, prolonged periods of recording did not influence propagation speed and pattern provided that the positioning of the multiple electrode assembly was performed with care. Entrainment of the natural pacemaker was possible by applying electrical stimuli through 2 of the 240 extracellular electrodes during simultaneous recordings. In conclusion, multisite extracellular mapping of gastrointestinal smooth muscle is possible and can be used to study origin and spread of slow-wave activity.

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