Local anesthesia of the oral cavity is a critical step for most dental procedures. The administration of anesthetics is usually done invasively, through injections that often scare away patients of the clinics. The effective non-invasive administration of local anesthetics in the oral cavity in order to replace the painful injections would enable the improvement of routine and surgical procedures due to the likely cost decrease, patient compliance, ease of application and less risk of contamination and toxicity. However, deep anesthesia and in a suitable time range of strategic areas of the oral mucosa requires penetration of the anesthetic in effective amounts. The rate of release and permeation of the drug may, however, be increased and modulated by using suitable pharmaceutical adjuvants, as well as with the application of iontophoresis. This proposal aims at the rational development of mucoadhesive films for topical/local release of anesthetics in the oral cavity in order to replace the local anesthetic injection in dentistry procedures. The formulations will be characterized physical and physicochemically, and in vitro and ex vivo tests will be conducted to assess their performance. Moreover, we will investigate the potential of the application of iontophoresis to modulate the release rate, permeation and to maintain the effect of the drug from the formulations. Concentration, pH and ionic strength of the systems will be evaluated in order to increase the efficiency of electric current along iontophoresis studies and, thereby, enable the development of a suitable iontophoretic delivery system. Statistical tools will be used for the experimental design and selection of the formulations with improved characteristics.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: