Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) represents a neuromodulation technique that delivers a weak direct electrical current to the brain, and can be used to treat brain injuries, strokes, and other neural conditions. TDCS can be optimised and individualised through anatomic and patient-specific computational models that can simulate electric field distribution and current flow. Simpleware was used to develop Finite Element models of the human head, which have been used to create patient-specific therapy protocols for tDCS. These models have been used to optimise and individualise treatment of neurological conditions, enabling a better understanding of how tDCS can be safely applied.
MRI data scans of a healthy human head were obtained using a 3-T scanner. Researchers used in-house segmentation algorithms to define masks for skin, fat, skull, cerebral spinal fluid, gray and white matter. Image data was imported into ScanIP to enhance segmentation and demarcate tissue compartment boundaries. The Simpleware +CAD Module was also used to integrate electrodes, anodes, cathodes and sponge models into segmented image data.
The Simpleware +FE Module was used to convert segmented image data into a 3D volume mesh consisting of seven segmented tissue masks and an imported electrode montage. An adaptive +FE Free mesh algorithm was employed to reduce mesh elements without compromising computational accuracy. The exported mesh was high quality enough to remove the need for further smoothing prior to export.