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Algynomics - Personalized Pain Medications and Diagnostics

Algynomics provides a breadth of algesiometric assays to investigators interested in bidirectional translational research. Clients are free to choose from the palette of assays and measures described below, but we strongly recommend consultation with Dr. Mogil as to the ideal combination for particular purposes.

The Need for Algesiometric “Batteries”
Pain is multidimensional, with no single assay sufficient to “cover” the domain of pain. In humans, clinical pain can be differentiated based on timing (acute vs. chronic), location (somatic, visceral, musculoskeletal), etiology (nociceptive, inflammatory, neuropathic), and perhaps most importantly, by symptom. 

Symptoms that can be modeled in animals include spontaneous pain, evoked mechanical hypersensitivity, and evoked thermal (hot and cold) hypersensitivity. Of note, spontaneously emitted pain-relevant rodent behaviors are clearly observed after short-lasting noxious chemical stimuli, but are much rarer (and far more controversial) in chronic contexts. Numbness and para/dysesthesia cannot be modeled in animals currently.

Algesiometric Assay Development and Testing
Acute Assays – Tests of reflexive (or conscious) withdrawal from noxious thermal or mechanical stimuli; can be used to test the sensitivity of intact nociceptive circuitry.
Assays: Hot-Plate Test, Tail-Withdrawal Test, Radiant Heat Paw-Withdrawal (Hargreaves’) Test, Cold Sensitivity (Acetone) Test, von Frey Filament Test, Tail-Clip Test

Tonic Assays – Tests of nocifensive behaviors performed in response to inflammatory insult or frank somatic tissue damage.
Assays: Abdominal Constriction (“Writhing”) Test, Formalin Test, Capsaicin Test, Postoperative Pain Test

Chronic Assays – Tests of hypersensitivity following induction of surgical (or chemical) nerve damage, or of chronic inflammatory states.  In most cases (but see below) mechanical and/or thermal hypersensitivity is measured at various time points before and after the injury.
Assays: Surgical Nerve Injury (Chronic Constriction Injury, Spared Nerve Injury, Spinal Nerve Ligation); Chronic Inflammatory Assays (Zymosan, Carrageenan, Complete Freund’s Adjuvant [CFA], Lipopolysaccharide [LPS])

New Measures–Newly developed measures may be more clinically relevant and predictive than their predecessors, but are considerably more labor‑intensive, and results are harder to interpret.
Measures: Facial Expression of Pain (Mouse Grimace Scale), Conditioned Place Preference/Aversion, Operant Paradigms

Click here for a complete description of assays and testing logistics (sample size, laboratory and testing environment, etc.) (pdf)