The overall goals are focused on the study and characterization of the mammalian somatosensory system physiological functions, in normal as well as pathological conditions.
Specifically, the focus is on the molecular basis of the mechanical transduction on primary sensory neurons and the circuits, architecture and sensory integration in secondary order sensory neurons in the spinal cord. For this task, he uses a combination of different techniques, including electrophysiological (extracellular and intracellular [Sharp electrodes]), pharmacological, inmunohistochemical (ICC), neuroanatomical approaches and, in some cases, fluorescence imaging technologies.
The obvious limitation of available models for these studies motivated him to develop novel in vivo spinal cord/DRG or trigeminal ganglia preparations for combined structure and function analyses of individual, physiological identified skin sensory and spinal cord neurons in adult mice and adult and neonate rats (under well-controlled physiological conditions).
The unparalleled resolution afforded by this challenging and detailed single-neuron (intracellular record) approach has provided a number of novel insights into sensory neuron biology, particularly with respect to the anatomical and functional diversity of nociceptors and their interaction with tactile afferents at multiple levels on the superficial dorsal horn.
Boada MD, Eisenach JC, Ririe DG. Mechanical sensibility of nociceptive and non-nociceptive fast-conducting afferents is modulated by skin temperature. J Neurophysiol. 2016;115(1):546-553.