Electrotherapy is fast gaining mainstream acceptance, no doubt due to the growing mountain of clinical evidence demonstrating its effectiveness. To meet the growing demand for information, this scientifically rigorous guide gives healthcare professionals and engineers essential technical, biological, and clinical background together with hands-on guidelines to design highly effective electrotherapeutic devices and treatment protocols for today's expanding list of clinical applications.
A number of motivating factors contributed to the development of the material
in this book. Many professionals in medicine, biomedical engineering, and biophysics
have expressed the concern that electrotherapy literature often does not
have enough science incorporated into the material. There are many good biomedical
engineering and biophysics textbooks available that address a wide
range of topics in physiology, immunology, the cardiovascular system, the renal
system, the endocrine system, imaging, conventional therapy, and so on. The
level of rigor that one sees in these books, with respect to mathematics, physics,
and chemistry, is often not found in those that address electrotherapy or
magnetotherapy. In some cases, when science is incorporated, the material is
often unclear, unconnected, or not adequately linked with applications. I hope
that this book will satisfy some of those criticisms. You, the reader, will have the
final word on whether this is an improvement, or not.
The material that follows should be useful in a variety of university undergraduate
and graduate level courses, short courses, and continuing education
courses in the fields of biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, biophysics,
and other related courses in the biological sciences. Mathematical analysis tools
requiring the use of calculus do appear in a few places. For the most part, however,
the mathematical content is primarily limited to the algebra level.
Another motivating factor for this book involves the very foundations of
physiology and cell biology. Since the early 1900s, the basic building blocks for
these subject areas have been focused on chemistry. A bit of physics is often
thrown in, but chemistry has been the primary element in laying the foundation.
This is why our understanding and modeling of biological systems is often
so vague and limited. Chemistry without physics is like Dick without Jane.