Angle-Tuned Coils: Attractive Building Blocks for TMS With Improved Depth-Spread Performance

SOURCE: Journal of Neural Engineering. 19(2), 2022 May 04.

AUTHORS: Bagherzadeh H; Meng Q; Deng ZD; Lu H; Hong E; Yang Y; Choa FS

OBJECTIVE: A novel angle-tuned ring coil is proposed for improving the depth-spread performance of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coils and serve as the building blocks for high-performance composite coils and multisite TMS systems. Approach. Improving depth-spread performance by reducing field divergence through creating a more elliptical emitted field distribution from the coil. To accomplish that, instead of enriching the Fourier components along the planarized (x-y) directions, which requires different arrays to occupy large brain surface areas, we worked along the radial (z) direction by using tilted coil angles and stacking coil numbers to reduce the divergence of the emitted near field without occupying large head surface areas. The emitted electric field distributions were theoretically simulated in spherical and real human head models to analyze the depth-spread performance of proposed coils and compare with existing figure-8 coils. The results were then experimentally validated with field probes andin-vivoanimal tests.

MAIN RESULTS: The proposed ‘angle-tuning’ concept improves the depth-spread performance of individual coils with a significantly smaller footprint than existing and proposed coils. For composite structures, using the proposed coils as basic building blocks simplifies the design and manufacturing process and helps accomplish a leading depth-spread performance. In addition, the footprint of the
proposed system is intrinsically small, making them suitable for multisite stimulations of inter and intra-hemispheric brain regions with an improved spread and less electric field divergence.

SIGNIFICANCE: Few brain functions are operated by isolated single brain regions but rather by coordinated networks involving multiple brain regions. Simultaneous or sequential multisite stimulations may provide tools for mechanistic studies of brain functions and the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. The proposed AT coil goes beyond the traditional depth-spread tradeoff rule of TMS coils, which provides the possibility of building new composite structures and new multisite TMS tools.