Document Type : Research article
Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Food Safety Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Protein Technology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Microemulsion-based gels (MBGs) were prepared for transdermal delivery of lidocaine and evaluated for their potential for local anesthesia. Lidocaine solubility was measured in various oils, and phase diagrams were constructed to map the concentration range of oil, surfactant, cosurfactant, and water for oil-in-water (o/w) microemulsion (ME) domains, employing the water titration method at different surfactant/cosurfactant weight ratios. Refractive index, electrical conductivity, droplet size, zeta potential, pH, viscosity, and stability of fluid o/w MEs were evaluated. CarbomerÒ 940 was incorporated into the fluid drug-loaded MEs as a gelling agent. Microemulsion-based gels were characterized for spreadability, pH, viscosity, and in-vitro drug release measurements, and based on the results obtained, the best MBGs were selected and subsequently subjected to ex-vivo rat skin permeation anesthetic effect and irritation studies. Data indicated the formation of nano-sized droplets of MEs ranging from 20-52 nm with a polydispersity of less than 0.5. In-vitro release and ex-vivo permeation studies on MBGs showed significantly higher drug release and permeation in comparison to the marketed topical gel. Developed MBG formulations demonstrated greater potential for transdermal delivery of lidocaine and advantage over the commercially available gel product, and therefore, they may be considered as potential vehicles for the topical delivery of lidocaine.