Cryoneurolysis with Injectable Ice Slurry Modulates Mechanical Skin Pain

Sara Moradi Tuchayi, Ying Wang, Alla Khodorova, Isaac J. Pence, Conor L. Evans, R. Rox Anderson, Ethan A. Lerner, Clifford J. Woolf, Lilit Garibyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous pain is a common symptom of skin disease, and available therapies are inadequate. We developed a neural selective and injectable method of cryoneurolysis with ice slurry, which leads to a long-lasting decrease in mechanical pain. The aim of this study is to determine whether slurry injection reduces cutaneous pain without inducing the side effects associated with conventional cryoneurolysis. Using the rat sciatic nerve, we examined the effects of slurry on nerve structure and function in comparison with the effects of a Food and Drug Administration‒approved cryoneurolysis device (Iovera). Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy and immunofluorescence staining were used to investigate histological effects on the sciatic nerve and on downstream cutaneous nerve fibers. Complete Freund's Adjuvant model of cutaneous pain was used to study the effect of the slurry on reducing pain. Structural changes in myelin induced by slurry were comparable with those induced by Iovera, which uses much colder temperatures. Compared with that of Iovera, the decrease in mechanical pain due to slurry was less profound but lasted longer without signs of dysesthesia. Slurry did not cause a reduction of epidermal nerve fibers or a change in thermal pain sensitivity. Slurry-treated rats showed reduced cutaneous mechanical pain in response to Complete Freund's Adjuvant. Slurry injection can be used to successfully reduce cutaneous pain without causing dysesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-141.e1
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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