Lidocaine-loaded fish scale-nanocellulose biopolymer composite microneedles

Microneedle (MN) technology has emerged as an effective drug delivery system, and it has tremendous potential as a patient friendly substitute for conventional methods for transdermal drug delivery (TDD). In this paper, we report on the preparation of lidocaine-loaded biodegradable microneedles, which are manufactured from fish scale-derived collagen. Lidocaine, a common tissue numbing anaesthetic, is loaded in these microneedles with an aim of delivering the drug with controlled skin permeation. Evaluation of lidocaine permeation in porcine skin has been successfully performed using Franz diffusion cell (FDC) which has shown that the drug permeation rate increases from 2.5 to 7.5% w/w after 36 h and pseudo steady state profile is observed from 5.0 to 10.0% w/w lidocaine-loaded microneedle. Swelling experiments have suggested that the microneedles have negligible swellability which implies that the patch would stick to the tissue when inserted. The experiments on MN dissolution have depicted that the lidocaine loaded in the patch is lower than the theoretical loading, which is expected as there can be losses of the drug during initial process manufacture.