Cortical stimulation techniques have been shown as being effective for treating different pathological and psychiatric techniques, including both invasive and non-invasive methods. In terms of the former, direct cortical stimulation (DCS) requires a craniotomy to place electrodes directly over the brain. DCS produces strong neuromodulation effects, but at a higher risk to the patient. By contrast, transcranial electric stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive neuromodulation technique that passes a safer but weaker electric current between electrodes attached to the scalp.
Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a novel minimally invasive neuromodulation technique, epicranial cortical stimulation (ECS) to increase treatment effectiveness by placing the stimulating electrodes under the skin and directly on the skull. This research looked into ECS’s potential to deliver strong electric fields to the brain and used computational modeling to estimate the induced cortical electric field during ECS compared to tES and DCS. To do so, Simpleware software was used to generate a high-quality model of the human head with desired electrodes, which was then exported to COMSOL Multiphysics for simulating electric field distribution.