Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF): surgical adjuvants, preparations for in situ regenerative medicine and tools for tissue engineering

Tomasz Bielecki, David M Dohan Ehrenfest
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 2012, 13 (7): 1121-30
The recent developement of platelet concentrate for surgical use is an evolution of the fibrin glue technologies used since many years. The initial concept of these autologous preparations was to concentrate platelets and their growth factors in a plasma solution, and to activate it into a fibrin gel on a surgical site, in order to improve local healing. These platelet suspensions were often called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) like the platelet concentrate used in transfusion medicine, but many different technologies have in fact been developed; some of them are even no more platelet suspensions, but solid fibrin-based biomaterials called Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF). These various technologies were tested in many different clinical fields, particularly oral and maxillofacial surgery, Ear-Nose-Throat surgery, plastic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine, gynecologic and cardiovascular surgery and ophthalmology. This field of research unfortunately suffers from the lack of a proper accurate terminology and the associated misunderstandings, and the literature on the topic is quite contradictory. Indeed, the effects of these preparations cannot be limited to their growth factor content: these products associate many actors of healing in synergy, such as leukocytes, fibrin matrix, and circulating progenitor cells, and are in fact as complex as blood itself. If platelet concentrates were first used as surgical adjuvants for the stimulation of healing (as fibrin glues enriched with growth factors), many applications for in situ regenerative medicine and tissue engineering were developed and offer a great potential. However, the future of this field is first dependent on his coherence and scientific clarity. The objectives of this article is to introduce the main definitions, problematics and perspectives that are described in this special issue of Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology about platelet concentrates.

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