PinPrick stimulators

Quantitative sensoric testing (QST) of pain and perception thresholds

MRC's PinPrick stimulators are used for quantitative sensoric testing (QST) of pain and perception thresholds. They allow a reproducible measurement and documentation of nociceptor activation of the skin. Thus, they enable a better diagnostic of symptoms of neuropathologic pain and the investigation of mechanisms that are connected with chronic pain.

The tactile stimulators have been developed and introduced by Prof. Rolf-Detlef Treede and PD Dr. Walter Magerl (Department of Neurophysiology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg). They are used by the members of the German Research Network on Neurophathic Pain (DFNS) and validated by the European Federation of Neurological Societies.

Pinprick Stimulator


Pinprick stimulation ...

  • is used to assess gain and loss of mechanical sensory functions
  • is one important contribution to characterize the somatosensory phenotype of patients with neuropathic pain
  • provides quantitative data for mechanical detection and pain thresholds as well as stimulus/response functions
  • provides quantitative data for pain summation to repetitive stimuli
  • is an important step towards mechanism based treatment of pain syndromes
  • is a reproducible method to diagnose changes of pain sensitivity like mechanical hyperalgesia or dynamic mechanical allodynia
  • is used to investigate the central sensitization to A-fibre nociceptor input
  • enables the validation of paint treatment concepts by standardized protocols and absolute reference values

Product description

  • One set includes seven weighted pinprick stimulators for different pressures (between 8mN and 512mN)
  • Tips have a flat contact area of 0.25mm in diameter with a controlled edge curvature

Special Features

  • Fast and safe application in clinical routine
  • Approved tip geometry
  • Calibrated forces
  • User-independent sensoric stimulation levels
  • No damage to skin tissue
  • Age- and gender-matched reference values are availabe
  • Recommended by German Research Network of Neuropathic Pain (DFNS)
  • Recommended by European Federation of Neurological Societies
  • Compact and robust design
  • Patented technology
  • The MRI comapatible version can be used during MRI, fMRI, and PET imaging

The trigger can be used to determine the conduction velocity of nerves. As soon as the tip of a PinPrick stimulator reaches its nominal force on the skin, a trigger signal is generated. This trigger can be sent to a stop watch, an EEG recorder or any other device.

Further product information


For easy and safe disinfection of the PinPrick stimulators we offer the disinfection unit as accessory. The glass jar can be filled with a standard disinfectant for medical products. The PinPrick holder ensures dipping the pins into the disinfectant.

Further product information



  • Geber C, Klein T, Azad S, Birklein F, Gierthmühlen J, Huge V, Lauchart M, Nitzsche D, Stengel M, Valet M, Baron R, Maier C, Tölle T, Treede RD: Test-retest and interobserver reliability of quantitative sensory testing according to the protocol of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS): a multi-centre study. Pain. 2011 Mar;152(3):548-56. (Weblink)
  • T. Klein, W. Magerl, A. Hanschmann, M. Althaus, R.-D. Treede: Antihyperalgesic and analgesic properties of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist neramexane in a human surrogate model of neurogenic hyperalgesia. European Journal of Pain, 12 (2008), 17-19 (Weblink)
  • Magerl W, Krumova EK, Baron R, Tölle T, Treede RD, Maier C.: Reference data for quantitative sensory testing (QST): refined stratification for age and a novel method for statistical comparison of group data. Pain. 2010 Dec;151(3):598-605. (Weblink)
  • W. Magerl, P. N. Fuchs, R. A. Mayer, R.-D. Treede: Roles of capsaicin-insensitive nociceptors in pain and secondary hyperalgesia. Brain 124 (2001), 257-268 (Weblink)
  • Maier C, Baron R, Tölle TR, Binder A, Birbaumer N, Birklein F, Gierthmühlen J, Flor H, Geber C, Huge V, Krumova EK, Landwehrmeyer GB, Magerl W, Maihöfner C, Richter H, Rolke R, Scherens A, Schwarz A, Sommer C, Tronnier V, Uçeyler N, Valet M, Wasner G, Treede RD: Quantitative sensory testing in the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS): somatosensory abnormalities in 1236 patients with different neuropathic pain syndromes. Pain. 2010 Sep;150(3):439-50 (Weblink)
  • Pfau DB, Krumova EK, Treede RD, Baron R, Toelle T, Birklein F, Eich W, Geber C, Gerhardt A, Weiss T, Magerl W, Maier C: Quantitative sensory testing in the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS): reference data for the trunk and application in patients with chronic postherpetic neuralgia. Pain. 2014 May;155(5):1002-15. (Weblink)
  • R. Rolke, W. Magerl, K.A. Campbell, C. Schalber, S. Caspari, F. Birklein F, R.-D. Treede: Quantitative sensory testing: a comprehensive protocol for clinical trials. Eur J Pain 10(1) (2006), 77-88 (Weblink)
  • R. Rolke, R. Baron, C. Maier, T.R. Tölle, R.-D. Treede, A. Beyer, A. Binder, N. Birbaumer, F. Birklein, I.C. Bötefür, S. Braune, H. Flor, V. Huge, R. Klug, G.B. Landwehrmeyer, W. Magerl, C. Maihöfner, C. Rolko, C. Schaub, A. Scherens, T. Sprenger, M. Valet, B. Wasserka: Quantitative sensory testing in the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS): Standardized protocol and reference values. Pain 123 (2006), 231-243 (Weblink)
  • Schuh-Hofer S, Wodarski R, Pfau DB, Caspani O, Magerl W, Kennedy JD, Treede RD: One night of total sleep deprivation promotes a state of generalized hyperalgesia: a surrogate pain model to study the relationship of insomnia and pain. Pain. 2013 Sep;154(9):1613-21. (Weblink)
  • E. A. Ziegler, W. Magerl, R. A. Meyer, R.-D. Treede: Secondary hyperalgesia to punctate mechanical stimuli. Brain 122 (1999), 2245-2257 (Weblink)