BJA/RCoA Project Grant
Dr Carsten Bantel
HEFC-E Clinical Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London
Metabolic Characterisation of Human Models of Burn Pain
£30,445 conditional on ethical approval
Burn pain is still a significant clinical problem that often defies treatment. One potential reason for this is that - instead of being a single entity - it likely comprises different subtypes, each with different underlying mechanisms. However, mechanism based rather than aetiology based treatments have only just recently emerged as therapeutic concepts. At present the principal obstacle in clinical practice to this approach is the lack of biomarkers to indicate specific pathways. This study aims to close this gap. Therefore, two models of burn pain (thermal heat; ultraviolet-B light (sun-burn) are going to be employed in healthy human volunteers. They will be compared to a widely accepted model of neurogenic inflammation (topical capsaicin). After induction of pain, interstitial fluid will be sampled from the affected skin with microdialysis probes. Sample fluid will be analysed for key metabolites and entire metabolite profiles. In addition, the somato-sensory changes in the skin induced by the respective pain models will be quantified. The resultant values for mechanical hyperalgesia and allodynia as well as the changes in heat and pain thresholds will be correlated with the obtained metabolite signature. The thus identified interactions between metabolites and sensorychanges should build the basis for the development of biomarkers for burn pain.