Transcutaneous anaesthetic nano-enabled hydrogels for eyelid surgery

Katerina Lalatsa, Priyanka V Patel, Yujiao Sun, Chong C Kiun, Ferishtah Karimi, Jurgita Zekonyte, Krisztina Emeriewen, George M. Saleh

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Local anaesthetics are administered as a diffuse superficial slow injection in blepharoplasty. Current transcutaneous local anaesthetic formulations are not licensed for use on the face due to safety concerns. Here we report for the first time the permeation of local anaesthetics (lidocaine, bupivacaine loaded SNEDDS and their hydrogels across human eyelid and mouse skin as a novel and ocular safe formulation for eyelid surgery. SNEDDS were loaded with high levels of anaesthetics and incorporated within carbomer hydrogels to yield nano-enabled gels. Lidocaine hydrogels have a significantly reduced lag time compared to EMLA, while they enhance lidocaine flux across human eyelid skin by 5.2 fold. Ex vivo tape stripping experiments indicated localisation of anaesthetics within the stratum corneum and dermis. Initial histopathological studies have shown no apparent signs of skin irritation. These results highlight the potential clinical capability of nano-enabled anaesthetic hydrogels as a non-invasive anaesthetic procedure for eyelid surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119003
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date11 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020


  • Lidocaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS)
  • hydrogels
  • eyelid
  • tape stripping
  • Franz cell diffusion assays


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