Microparticle shape, as a tunable design parameter, holds much promise for controlling drug-release kinetics from polymeric microparticulate systems. In this study we hypothesized that the intensity and duration of a local nerve block can be controlled by administration of bupivacaine-loaded stretch-induced anisotropic poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles (MPs). MPs of size 27.3 ± 8.5 μm were synthesized by single emulsion method and subjected to controlled stretching force. The aspect ratio of the anisotropic–bupivacaine MPs was quantified, and bupivacaine release was measured in vitro. The anisotropic MPs were administered as local nerve block injections in rats, and the intensity and duration of local anesthesia was measured. Bupivacaine-loaded anisotropic MPs used in this study were ellipsoid in shape and exhibited increased surface pores in comparison to spherical MPs. Anisotropic MPs exhibited a higher rate of bupivacaine release in vitro, and showed significantly (P < 0.05) stronger sensory nerve blocking as compared to spherical bupivacaine MPs, even though the duration of the nerve block remained similar. This study demonstrates the utility of stretch-induced anisotropic MPs in controlling drug release profiles from polymeric MPs, under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. We show that shape, as a tunable design parameter, could play an important role in engineering drug-delivery systems.
S. B. S, Gopalakrishnan-Prema, V., Raju, G., Mathew, S. E., Katiyar, N., Menon, D., and Dr. Sahadev Shankarappa, “Anisotropic microparticles for differential drug release in nerve block anesthesia”, RSC Adv., vol. 11, pp. 4623-4630, 2021.