An Object-Oriented Framework for Versatile Finite Element Based Simulations of Neurostimulation
Dougherty, Edward T.
Turner, James C.
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Computational simulations of transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) are commonly utilized by the neurostimulation community, and while vastly different TES application areas can be investigated, the mathematical equations and physiological characteristics that govern this research are identical. The goal of this work was to develop a robust software framework for TES that efficiently supports the spectrum of computational simulations routinely utilized by the TES community and in addition easily extends to support alternative neurostimulation research objectives. Using well-established object-oriented software engineering techniques, we have designed a software framework based upon the physical and computational aspects of TES. The framework’s versatility is demonstrated with a set of diverse neurostimulation simulations that (i) reinforce the importance of using anisotropic tissue conductivities, (ii) demonstrate the enhanced precision of high-definition stimulation electrodes, and (iii) highlight the benefits of utilizing multigrid solution algorithms. Our approaches result in a framework that facilitates rapid prototyping of real-world, customized TES administrations and supports virtually any clinical, biomedical, or computational aspect of this treatment. Software reuse and maintainability are optimized, and in addition, the same code can be effortlessly augmented to provide support for alternative neurostimulation research endeavors.