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Developing transcutaneous nanoenabled anaesthetics for eyelid surgery
  1. Aikaterini Lalatsa1,
  2. Krisztina Emeriewen2,
  3. Vasiliki Protopsalti1,
  4. Gabrielle Skelton1,
  5. George M Saleh2,3
  1. 1Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
  2. 2Moorfields Eye Hospital, Bedford, UK
  3. 3The National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aikaterini Lalatsa, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, St Michael's Building, University of Portsmouth, White Swan Road, Portsmouth PO1 2DT, UK; katerina.lalatsa{at}


Purpose Local anaesthesia in eyelid surgery carries inherent risks, which has spurned ongoing investigation to identify needleless alternatives. Nanomedicines (particles ranging between 10 nm and 1000 nm in size) have shown promise in the transcutaneous delivery of certain drugs. In this study, we explore the feasibility of nanoenabled lidocaine delivery across an artificial skin analogue.

Materials and methods Three different lidocaine-loaded nanocarriers were characterised. Diffusion studies were performed through cellulose membranes using customised Franz cells. The nanocarriers included polymeric micelles (PMs) (Soluplus), solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) (Tripalmitin: Lecithin: Labrasol: polysorbate-20: water; 3.33:1:40:1:4.67 w/w) and self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) (Capryol-90: Transcutol: Labrasol; 1:3:6 w/w). Particles were characterised in terms of size, zeta-potential and morphology. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Tukey's tests were used to assess differences in permeation at a significance of p<0.05.

Results Lidocaine loading was highest in SNEDDs (50±2.1 mg/g) compared with PMs (13.4±0.6 mg/mL) and SLNs (2.8±0.5 mg/mL). All particles possessed a size below 150 nm, illustrated good colloidal stability with a negative zeta-potential and a spherical morphology as demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy images. Cumulative lidocaine concentration after 6 h was significant for both PMs (345.7±23.8 µg/cm2/h) and SNEDDS (224.8±118.2 µg/cm2/h) compared with SLNs (127.3±25.4 µg/cm2/h). However, SLNs provided controlled release of lidocaine with a linear gradient that continued to increase up to 6 h.

Discussion These results highlight the potential capability of nanoparticle lidocaine delivery in eyelid surgery. The achieved flux for all nanomedicines was higher than that reported for currently approved topical lidocaine formulations (including EMLA cream).

  • Drugs
  • Experimental &#8211 laboratory
  • Eye Lids
  • Treatment other
  • Pharmacology

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