© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Sustained release and prevention of burst release for low half-life drugs like Diclofenac sodium is crucial to prevent drug related toxicity. Electrospun nanofibers have emerged recently as potential carrier materials for controlled and sustained drug release. Here, we present a facile method to prevent burst release by tuning the surface wettability through template assisted micropatterning of drug loaded electrospun cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers. A known amount of drug (Diclofenac sodium) was first mixed with CA and then electrospun in the form of a nanofabric. This as-spun network was hydrophilic in nature. However, when electrospinning was carried out through non-conducting templates, viz nylon meshes with 50 and 100 μm size openings, two kinds of hydrophobic micro-patterned CA nanofabrics were produced. In vitro transdermal testing of our nanofibrous mats was carried out; these tests were able to show that it would be possible to create a patch for transdermal drug release. Further, our results show that with optimized micro-patterned dimensions, a zero order sustained drug release of up to 12 h may be achieved for the transdermal system when compared to non-patterned samples. This patterning caused a change in the surface wettability, to a hydrophobic surface, resulting in a controlled diffusion of the hydrophilic drug. Patterning assisted in controlling the initial burst release, which is a significant finding especially for low half-life drugs.