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Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a biomaterial with unique physical and mechanical properties that triggered considerable interest, but there are few studies addressing the use of such membranes for drug loading and controlled release. This study aimed to investigate the applicability of BC membranes in topical or transdermal drug delivery systems. To assess its therapeutic feasibility, the permeation through human epidermis of two model drugs (lidocaine hydrochloride and ibuprofen) in BC and other formulation systems was compared in vitro.A uniform distribution of both drugs in the BC membranes was achieved. Diffusion studies with Franz cells showed that the incorporation of lidocaine hydrochloride in BC membranes provided lower permeation rates than those obtained with the conventional formulations. However, the results obtained with the lipophilic drug were quite different, since permeation of ibuprofen in BC was almost three times higher than that of the drug in the gel or in a PEG400 solution.These results indicate that this technology can be successfully applied to modulate the bioavailability of drugs for percutaneous administration, which could be particularly advantageous in the design of delivery systems that have, simultaneously, the ability to absorb exudates and to adhere to irregular skin surfaces.