- Microneurography can record individual action potentials from single sensory fibers, including nociceptors. It is the only available technique to detect and quantify abnormal activity in human pain fibers (proprietary analysis software Micro-NT©).
- It is a safe technique that does not need anesthesia. It consists of recording the electrical activity from pain fibers through a microelectrode inserted into a peripheral nerve. Continuous recordings can last as long as 3 hours.
- Multiple nociceptors can be recorded simultaneously, allowing a higher throughput of the technique.
- Microneurography has been successfully adapted to anesthetized rats, allowing assessment of the activity of potential pain drugs at early stages of development.
Two assays are currently available, both in human and rodent nerves:
- NT-ectopia©: Quantification of the effect of compounds on abnormal spontaneous pain fiber activity. This constitutes the most direct correlate of potential efficacy on spontaneous pain.
- NT-transduction©: Stimulus-response curves of single identified C-nociceptors for different stimulus energies (mechanical, heat, cold). These allow quantification of the effects of compounds acting on different transductor molecules (e.g., efficacy of TRPV1 antagonists, effect of capsaicin).
Studies can be performed in healthy human volunteers, in patients with painful peripheral polyneuropathies and in different animal models (SNL, crush, CCI, STZ, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, UVB, etc), either individually, or in combination for robust translational results.