Evaluation of Microneedles-assisted in situ Depot Forming Poloxamer gels for Sustained Transdermal Drug Delivery

Samiullah Khan, Muhammad Usman Minhas, Ismaiel A. Tekko, Ryan F. Donnelly, Raghu Thakur

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study, for the first time, we have reported a sustained transdermal drug delivery from thermoresponsive poloxamer depots formed within the skin micropores following microneedle (MN) application. Firstly, we have investigated the sol–gel phase transition characteristics of poloxamers (PF®127, P108, and P87) at physiological conditions. Rheological measurements were evaluated to confirm the critical gelation temperature (CGT) of the poloxamer formulations with or without fluorescein sodium (FS), as a model drug, at various concentrations. Optimized poloxamer formulations were subjected to in vitro release studies using a vial method. Secondly, polymeric MNs were fabricated using laser-engineered silicone micromolds from various biocompatible polymeric blends of Gantrez S-97, PEG 10000, PEG200, PVP K32, and PVP K90. The MN arrays were characterized for mechanical strength, insertion force determination, in situ dissolution kinetics, moisture content, and penetration depth. The optimized MN arrays with good mechanical strength and non-soluble nature were used to create micropores in the neonatal porcine skin. Microporation in neonatal porcine skin was confirmed by dye-binding study, skin integrity assessment, and histology study. Finally, the in vitro delivery of FS from optimized poloxamer formulations was conducted across non-porated vs microporated skin samples using vertical Franz diffusion cells. Results concluded that permeation of FS was sustained for 96 h across the MN-treated skin samples containing in situ forming depot poloxamer formulations compared to non-microporated skin which sustained the FS delivery for 72 h. Confocal microscopic images confirmed the distribution of higher florescence intensity of FS in skin tissues after permeation study in case of MN-treated skin samples vs intact skin samples.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Early online date23 Jan 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Jan 2019


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