When an injury results in acute pain, the nervous system undergoes an adaptive neuroplastic response resulting in an increase in sensitivity. After some time, the pain neuroplasticity is normalized as the injury heals.
In some cases, such neuroplastic processes fail to normalize during convalescence, and acute pain develops into chronic pain with hypersensitivity. The continuing pain after injury resolution is considered due to maladaptive pain neuroplasticity.
In contrast, advantageous neuroplasticity permits the nervous system to cope with challenges such as maladaptive pain neuroplasticity to help returning to a pain-free state.
The Center will apply a biomedical engineering approach where new advanced pain provocation and probing platforms will be discovered and applied to reveal novel aspects of the human pain neuroplasticity.
This will lead to experimental human models describing the unknown dynamic properties of pain neuroplasticity in humans. These models will be exploited to identify methods for promoting advantageous neuroplasticity in the human pain system.