Platelets play a crucial role in blood clotting, and also carry certain growth factors that activate wound healing.1
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a platelet concentrate harvested from a patient’s blood. PRP is collected when the patient is being prepared for surgery. A small amount of blood is drawn then spun in a centrifuge which separates the various components of the blood:
- Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP), containing fibrinogen
- Platelet Rich Plasma, containing
- White Blood Cells and Platelets (buffycoat)
This thin layer of white blood cells and platelets, known as the buffycoat, contains the highest concentration of platelets, thus high concentration of growth factors.
- Red Blood Cells
When sprayed on the surgical site, both Platelet Rich and Platelet Poor Plasma may provide for wound sealing and healing.1
When combined with thrombin, Platelet Rich Plasma forms a platelet gel which provides for hemostasis.1 Thrombin causes the platelets to degranulate, releasing growth factors directly into the wound.
These growth factors are necessary to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. Two growth factors that play a major role in PRP gels are1:
- PDGF - platelet-derived growth factor, and
- TGF-ß - transforming growth factor
Combining these growth factors triggers tissue repair by increasing tissue vascularity and promoting fibroblast proliferation.1,2,3
Platelet Poor Plasma contains a rich concentration of fibrinogen. When combined with thrombin, fibrinogen becomes fibrin gel—acting as a "glue" to provide for hemostasis.2
1. Pietrzak WS, Eppley BL. Platelet rich plasma: biology and new technology. J Craniofac Surg. 2005 Nov;16(6):1043-54.
2. Bhanot S, Alex JC. Current applications of platelet gels in facial plastic surgery. Facial Plast Surg. 2002 Feb;18(1):27-33.
3. Man D, Plosker H, Winland-Brown JE. The use of autologous platelet rich plasma (platelet gel) and autologous platelet poor plasma (fibrin glue) in cosmetic surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2001 Jan;107(1):229-37.