During strong voluntary effort it is rarely possible to identify the action potentials from single motor units. In large muscles the most selective recordings are obtained with bipolar wire electrodes. To elucidate this experimental finding we have calculated the extracellular field around a single muscle fiber from an intracellular muscle action potential. This model showed that the selectivity of a bipolar electrode is high provided: i) the diameter of the recording surfaces is less than half the diameter of the muscle fibers; ii) the center distance between the recording surfaces is of the same order or smaller than the diameter of the muscle fibers, and when iii) the center-line between the recording surfaces is oriented perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers.
Bibliographical noteCopyright 1978 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Andreassen, S., & Rosenfalck, A. (1978). Recording from a Single Motor Unit During Strong Effort. I E E E Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 25(6), 501-508. https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.1978.326283