Investigation of Low-Current Direct Stimulation for Rehabilitation Treatment Related to Muscle Function Loss Using Self-Powered TENG System

Jiahui Wang, Hao Wang, Tianyiyi He, Borong He, Nitish V. Thakor, Chengkuo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Muscle function loss is characterized as abnormal or completely lost muscle capabilities, and it can result from neurological disorders or nerve injuries. The currently available clinical treatment is to electrically stimulate the diseased muscles. Here, a self-powered system of a stacked-layer triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) and a multiple-channel epimysial electrode to directly stimulate muscles is demonstrated. Then, the two challenges regarding direct TENG muscle stimulation are further investigated. For the first challenge of improving low-current TENG stimulation efficiency, it is found that the optimum stimulation efficiency can be achieved by conducting a systematic mapping with a multiple-channel epimysial electrode. The second challenge is TENG stimulation stability. It is found that the force output generated by TENGs is more stable than using the conventional square wave stimulation and enveloped high frequency stimulation. With modelling and in vivo measurements, it is confirmed that the two factors that account for the stable stimulation using TENGs are the long pulse duration and low current amplitude. The current waveform of TENGs can effectively avoid synchronous motoneuron recruitment at the two stimulation electrodes to reduce force fluctuation. Here, after investigating these two challenges, it is believed that TENG direct muscle stimulation could be used for rehabilitative and therapeutic purpose of muscle function loss treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900149
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 17 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • electrical muscle stimulation
  • self-powered
  • stimulation efficiency
  • stimulation stability
  • stimulation waveform
  • triboelectric direct stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation of Low-Current Direct Stimulation for Rehabilitation Treatment Related to Muscle Function Loss Using Self-Powered TENG System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this