In vitro and in vivo quantification of chloroprocaine release from an implantable device in a piglet postoperative pain model

Simona De Gregori, Manuela De Gregori, Nora Bloise, Dario Bugada, Mariadelfina Molinaro, Claudia Filisetti, Massimo Allegri, Michael E. Schatman, Lorenzo Cobianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The pharmacokinetic properties and clinical advantages of the local anesthetic chloroprocaine are well known. Here, we studied the pharmacokinetic profile of a new hydrogel device loaded with chloroprocaine to investigate the potential advantages of this new strategy for postoperative pain (POP) relief. Materials and methods: We performed both in vitro and in vivo analyses by considering plasma samples of four piglets receiving slow-release chloroprocaine. To quantify chloroprocaine and its inactive metabolite 4-amino-2-chlorobenzoic acid (ACBA), a HPLC–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) analytical method was used. Serial blood samples were collected over 108 hours, according to the exposure time to the device. Results: Chloroprocaine was consistently found to be below the lower limit of quantification, even though a well-defined peak was observed in every chromatogram at an unexpected retention time. Concerning ACBA, we found detectable plasma concentrations between T0 and T12h, with a maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) observed 3 hours after the device application. In the in vitro analyses, the nanogel remained in contact with plasma at 37°C for 90 minutes, 3 hours, 1 day, and 7 days. Chloroprocaine Cmax was identified 1 day following exposure and Cmin after 7 days, respectively. Additionally, ACBA reached the Cmax following 7 days of exposure. Conclusion: A thorough review of the literature indicates that this is the first study analyzing both in vivo and in vitro pharmacokinetic profiles of a chloroprocaine hydrogel device and is considered as a pilot study on the feasibility of including this approach to the management of POP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2837-2846
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • ACBA
  • Chloroprocaine
  • Hydrogel device
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Postoperative outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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