An ideal approach to both diagnose and treat pain without opioids would be to noninvasively ‘beam’ a local anesthetic to a suspected pain generator. For instance, in patients with acute or chronic pain, this technique could be used to anesthetize a spinal nerve and thereby interrogate which site(s) contribute most to the patient’s pain. This could then inform the delivery of a longer- lasting therapeutic dose or, complementarily, a permanent intervention such as focused ultrasound ablation. Here, we propose to develop exactly such a technology to noninvasively apply local anesthetics to suspected pain generators using targeted drug uncaging from ultrasound-sensitive nanoparticles
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